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at over four thousand square miles, bolivia’s remote salar de uyuni salt flat is the largest salt flat on the planet. and with a variation in surface elevation of less than a metre, it’s also amongst the flattest land on the planet. but during the raining season, when it becomes covered in a few centimetres of water, the salt flat is transformed into the largest mirror on the planet.

photos by michael & taylor kittell and paul & paveena mckenzie. (salar de uyuni previously featured)

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Capturing the Tension Between Modernity and Tradition with @raulbar

To see more of Raul’s street portraiture from Panama and Bolivia, follow @raulbar on Instagram.

“I usually frequent areas of economic activity—markets, neighborhoods and historic districts—where human interaction is rich,” explains Raul Barrios (@raulbar), a sociologist whose photos capture candid moments from the streets of Panama, Bolivia and other Latin American countries. “I use photography to continue to learn about and understand the complexity of societies.”

For Raul’s work, which explores how individuals interact with their larger communities, context is as important as the subject. “These spaces face an ongoing struggle between tradition and modernity,” Raul says. “I seek to portray everyday people in the spaces that convey the meaning of community in their lives, even though many of my portraits reflect feelings of loneliness and sadness.”

Quinoa has officially gone mainstream

The protein-packed grain that health fiends have been flipping out over — and Bolivian villagers have been eating for centuries — will soon be found in the cereal aisle. In January 2015, cereal giant General Mills will begin selling “Cheerios + Ancient Grains,” a mix of oats, quinoa, Kamut wheat and, apparently, plus signs.

But America’s obsession is hurting those who rely on it 

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Images from cycling atop the salt crust of Bolivia’s gargantuan Salar de Uyuni – and the more petite but perfectly formed Salar de Coipasa. 

My prevailing memories: squinting into the blinding, sparkly midday light. Feeling crispy skin crinkle ever-so-dry. Pitching camp on a bleached white canvas. Seasoning dinner with the ground I’m sitting on. Awakening in the morning to a glow of lavender light.

And above all, closing my eyes, and just riding…