What is a Bolivian Water Balloon Dispenser?


If you have ever been in Bolivia for Carnival; you will know exactly what a Water Balloon Dispenser is.  For those of you that haven’t had the opportunity, let me educate you.  See the Bolivian couple above?  This is the pre-assembly line.  The genius behind the dispenser.  The guts and glory so to speak.   She ties the balloons and places them into the dispenser after they are filled by her counterpart.


The cart pictured here is merly the transit machine for the Dispensers.  The young boy approaching is getting ready to load up for the festivities.


THIS  is the actual dispenser.  Although they come in many shapes and sizes; this is a great example.  If you look closely in the photo below you will see a couple of empty dispensers (one of which is doubly useful as a stool).


What is the market for Bolivian Water Balloon Dispensers? 

I know that all of my readers are wondering this.  If you happen to be in Sucre on or around Carnival; the market is crazy!  I think you could probably live for the entire year in Bolivia for what you would make in one short week if you had a Water Balloon Dispenser.  Of Course, you would have to fight all the Bolivian’s for street-corner space in order to set up your dispenser.  This is probably the hardest part as every street corner, every park square, and every block of every sidewalk has at least 1 of these already in place.  If you want a prime location your likely to have to mark your spot early….weeks early would be recommended.

What are Bolivian Water Balloons used for?

Yes…..what ARE they used for?  Well, when in Sucre for Carnival…..you must carry with you at all times at least a dozen of these little water bombs.  Why? You ask.  Well, if you don’t, you will have no way for retaliation when you are completely surrounded by the local Bolivian’s bombing you from every direction.

How do I know this?

Teresa and I wandered un-knowingly out of the hostel on our first evening in Sucre to get some dinner around 4-5 in the evening.  Before we could make it to the end of the block, we were completely dripping wet from the on-slaught.  Then…..it started to rain.  The rain was the least of our worries.  Cars passing by would toss these little bombs at anyone within throwing distance.  Trucks with their beds covered in blue tarp would suddenly burst with water balloons coming from the many hands under the tarp with an ambush….dozens of water balloons from all directions.

I wasn’t able to get any pictures of the aforementioned trucks for obvious reasons.  Nor, was I able to get any pictures of the many groups of bands that roamed the streets….they too had utilized the Water Balloon Dispensers.