Mamani, like three-quarters of the El Alto population, is of Aymara descent. His buildings—which house retail space, apartments, ballrooms, and even astroturfed soccer fields—are intricately painted by hand. The designs are inspired by the vivid colors of Aymaran textiles, local flora and fauna, and ancient Tiwanaku architecture.
Mamani explained that his works are “translating ancient ideas into a contemporary city.” Among the façades and interiors, one can spot the Andean cross, or chakana, as well as the condor, puma, and snake—three animals of spiritual significance to the region—rendered in graphic geometric forms. “These buildings,” Mamani continued, “day by day, are giving more modernity to the city of El Alto.”