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Cleferos of Cochabamba

MARCH 2009
BY KATE KILPATRICK

Two days before President Evo Morales gave a speech at the Coliseo de la Coronilla in Cochabamba, Bolivia, I asked local tourist police to escort me through the area to speak with the many children who live there—sometimes underground atop beds of trash. The kids, called “cleferos,” spend their days sniffing a glue (“clefa”) ordinarily used to repair shoes.

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