Fierce

The Climbing Cholitas Of Bolivia Scale Mountains In Skirts And Snow

In the capital city of La Paz, Bolivia 11 Indigenous women have set out to climb higher than the sexist expectations of their world. The women come from an Indigenous group known for their bowler hats and brightly ornate clothing. They call themselves the Cholita Climbers and they’re willing to go to great heights to reach their dreams.

Up until recently, the Bolivian Aymara women worked as cooks and caretakers for wealthy families, men, and mountaineers from across the globe.

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According to the Guardian, the women worked on high-altitude camps for years helping crews setting out to reach the highest peaks of the Andes. One day, the women decided to strap on crampons (shoes that are necessary for traveling on glaciers, snow slopes, and frozen waterfalls) and scale the mountains on their own.

While “Chola” is often interpreted as a derogatory term for indigenous women in certain Spanish-speaking countries, the Climbing Cholitas have taken back the word and found power in it. As a group (whose members range from 24 to 52 years old), the women weather the dangers of icy mountain terrains while holding on to ice axes and wearing their traditional dresses.

In some incredible pictures taken of the woman, they can be seen wearing colorful dresses called polleras.

The women have set out to climb the highest peaks in South America, including Aconcagua. For the time being, they’re setting their sights on scaling eight mountains higher than 19,700 ft.

Speaking about their experiences Dora Magueño, a 50-year-old member of the group, told the Guardian that she cried when she first climbed Huyana Potsí. “I’m strong, I’m going to continue and get to the top of eight mountains.”

Ultimately, the group wants to steak a Bolivian flag on the summit of Aconcagua. The mountain is located in the Argentinian Andes near the border with Chile.

Check out a video of the women below!

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