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Bolivian Boy Helps Family with Money by Taking Creative Photos


Piter Condori takes photos of tourists behind a toy dinosaur for a fee, at the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia March 27, 2022. (REUTERS/Claudia Morales)
Bolivian Boy Helps Family with Money by Taking Creative Photos
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Salar de Uyuni is a world-famous area of Bolivia. The extremely dry land is flat and white and covered with salt from the earth.

Many visitors visit the special place each year.

A young boy is having fun by taking unusual pictures of all the visitors, with a little help from a toy dinosaur.

Eleven-year-old Piter Condori takes photos of visitors standing on the salt flats and places the small dinosaur in a part of the frame. He does it in a way that makes it look as if the toy is running toward the people.

The white sand permits the boy to play with perspective. In other words, he can make the people look small and the toy look large.

He also uses things like an empty glass bottle to make it look as if the visitors are being poured out of the bottle.

Condori charges the visitors, or tourists, a little bit of money for each photo.

At the end of each day, he takes home about $15 to help his family pay for food or to help his brothers and sisters buy toys.

A woman in a Cholita dress poses for photos, at the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia March 26, 2022. (REUTERS/Claudia Morales)
A woman in a Cholita dress poses for photos, at the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia March 26, 2022. (REUTERS/Claudia Morales)

Food prices have shot up recently, making it harder for Piter’s family to buy everything it needs. Piter’s father, Diego, works in the salt business.

“We didn’t even have enough money to eat,” Diego said, noting that it was hard for his business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Piter’s mother sells hand-made art to the salt flat’s visitors. His brothers and sisters help, too.

Diego Condori said his family had a small amount of money saved. But that money ran out during the last two years.

“We have dedicated ourselves to working in tourism as a family,” Diego said.

The Condori family is the same as many others in Bolivia. The South American nation depends strongly on tourism. The 2,000 people who work in tourism have asked the government to remove some COVID-19 related restrictions.

Piter Condori, 11, takes pictures of tourists behind toy figures to earn money for his family, at the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia March 27, 2022. (REUTERS/Claudia Morales)
Piter Condori, 11, takes pictures of tourists behind toy figures to earn money for his family, at the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia March 27, 2022. (REUTERS/Claudia Morales)

One Bolivian tourism organization said visitors have decreased by 90 percent.

The salt flats where Piter takes photos are one of the country’s top attractions. The land also contains the material lithium, which is used in electric vehicle batteries. So far, that has not helped the local economy.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell adapted this story for VOA Learning English based on reporting by the Reuters.

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Words in This Story

frame – n. the composition of items in a single photo

perspective –n. a way of showing depth or distance in a photo or painting by making objects that are far away smaller

toy – n. something a child plays with

to run out – v. to use something up or to have a supply come to an end

dedicate – v. to spend a lot of time working on something

attraction – n. a place that draws visitors

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