These All-Girl Skate Crews In Latin America Are Pushing Back On Sexist Ideas About Women In Extreme Sports

Donning a traditional black bowler hat, a lace long-sleeve shirt and a pollera skirt, Aide Choque glides up and down a ramp in La Paz, Bolivia. She’s a member of the all-girl skate crew ImillaSkate, a collective of young women in the South American country that skateboards while wearing Indigenous garbs. Their objective: to simultaneously attract more women to the action sport while also preserving and spreading awareness about their cultural traditions and styles. 

“I love this sport, I love my culture and I love being a woman, and that is what motivates me to continue,” Choque, who hails from the central Bolivian region of Cochabamba, told Yahoo News!.

The five-person crew often pairs their cholita ‘fits with Vans or Nike SB shoes, a visual example of how the young women are merging their customs with the skate subculture. The group’s name, ImillaSkate, is a linguistic combination of Aymara and English words that means girl and skateboarding.

While many of the skaters are beginners, their collective recently competed in a virtual international tournament of all-girl skate crews this summer. From August to September, skaters from Mexico and Central and South America linked up for the Juego de S.K.A.T.E. Femenil. The competition, which streamed live via Zoom because of the Covid-19 pandemic, emphasized the growth of all-female skate crews across Latin America and the hunger these athletes have to widen representation for women in extreme sports.

“Here it is mostly men who practice [skateboarding],” Milenda Limachi, a member of  ImillaSkate, said. “But the world will know that in Bolivia there are women who do it.”

Here, we spotlight five Latin American all-girl skate crews building communal spaces and forging their way in an often sexist and exclusive sport.

1. Las Skatas Nicaragua

Girl Skate Crews

Founded in 2013, Las Skatas Nicaragua is a skate collective in Nicaragua. With about 17 members, the Central American group often hits local skate parks together, teaches one another tricks and competes in national and international competitions. On Instagram and Facebook, they regularly share videos of their members performing (or falling on their backsides while trying to execute) ollies and flips, all to inspire women and girls of various athletic levels to take on the action sport.

2.  Chicas en Llamas

Girl Skate Crews

Chicas en Llamas is a Peruvian all-women skateboarding collective. Launched in 2018 in the capital city of Lima, the South American group sees itself as more than just a collective that convenes to tear up ramps and grind rails together. Their mission is also political. Chicas en Llamas is intentional about ending sexism in skateboarding and challenging gender norms. Among their objectives is to change the mentality and experiences of women in sports to create a culture that is equal, just and accessible. And they mean it. When new women’s skate crews pop up in the country, Chicas en Llamas don’t see them as rivals. Instead, they celebrate the growth and change happening for women in sports in Peru. 

3.  Catrachas Skate

Girl Skate Crews

In Honduras, the women of Catrachas Skate are most interested in creating a multigenerational space for women who skate. It’s their hope to inspire generations young and old to take on the extreme sport. So far, they’ve been successful. Founded in 2015 by just five women, the crew has grown immensely. In the past five years, they’ve taught women and girls how to skate and have competed nationally and internationally.

4. Skategirl Colombia

Girl Skate Crews

Back in South America, Skategirl Colombia merges skating, art and politics. They see themselves as a learning space, both teaching newbies the sport as well as raising awareness about important issues impacting women and girls in their community. When the young women aren’t gliding on half-pipes, ramps or street curbs, they are educating the public on feminist activism history, encouraing folks to perform breast self-examinations and, most recently, leading virtual workshops on gender-based violence and self-defense.  

5. Cero Tímida

Girl Skate Crew

Through Costa Rica’s Cero Tímida, women skaters are inspiring their counterparts to overcome trepidations and take on action sports that society falsely taught them are not safe or acceptable for women and girls. Offering skate lessons and hosting events and competitions, Cero Tímida isn’t just working to undue sexist conditioning about women in exteme sports; they’re also creating spaces for beginners to learn, make mistakes and grow, without embarrassment or harassment from men. 

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America


Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Henry Sadura / Getty Images

Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

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