The use of the coca leaf is important to many Bolivian traditions. It can be chewed, infused in tea, or smoked. This mural depicts the use of the coca leaf to generate natural energy, like the connection to Pachamama. However, there was a strong push to eliminate coca growth in Bolivia because of its connection to cocaine. (To be clear, Bolivia doesn’t have nearly the drug problems as other Latin American countries, nor is the common use of coca in any way harmful or addictive like cocaine.) So, with the election of Evo Morales, coca growers can continue for domestic use (as cocaine isn’t processed in Bolivia). Yet, there is still international pressure to stop its cultivation. This mural touches on the view of the coca leaf as traditional and natural, fighting against international expectations.

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