THE WOMAN WAS ON HER HAND AND KNEES, harvesting some sort of plant from the city park lawn. I tried not to stare as she collected handfuls of the plant and laid them to dry on a magenta and yellow striped blanket.
“Indígena,” Maria Rene said, gesturing toward the woman with her jaw. My host mother was stating the obvious. In her white straw hat, two thick braids, pleated velour skirt, and sandals, the woman certainly seemed to be part of Bolivia’s majority indigenous population. But I decided to give my host mom the benefit of the doubt: she was probably just trying to be a thorough guide.