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The Colourful Mansions That Are Brightening Up Bolivia

Architect and designer Freddy Mamani is causing quite the stir in Bolivia and bringing a much needed splash of colour to the city of El Alto. The local architect has designed a number of ‘cholets’ (a mixture of the word chalet and chola – an indigenous woman) across Bolivia’s second largest city, with more being commissioned each month. Over 70 cholets have been built in El Alto so far and the bright mansions are in stark contrast to many of the city’s dull, and often unfinished, plain brick buildings. The designs of the cholets are based on the geometric patterns of a pre-Incan civilisation and aim to represent the indigenous people of Bolivia. The colourful mansions have become such a hit with the city’s affluent and wealthy residents that Freddy has now been asked to design and build a number of cholets across Bolivia and also in other South American countries such as Brazil and Peru.