Bolivia's indigenous women scaling new heights

Known as Cholitas, the women have climbed mountains more than 6,000m high and are aiming higher.

by

    La Paz, Bolivia - Bolivia's indigenous women: Market traders, wives, mothers, traditional, submissive and marginalised.

    No more, though. Bolivia's native women are chipping away at prejudice

    A group is challenging societal stereotypes by taking up mountaineering, an activity conventionally dominated by the country's male population.

    Known as Cholitas, the women have climbed mountains more than 6,000 metres high. They have achieved that wearing their traditional skirts.

    Alicia Quispe spent a significant amount of time as cook for foreign mountaineering expeditions before she was inspired to start take up climbing herself.

    Now, she has started encouraging other women to follow suit.

    Quispe has managed to climb the Huayna Potosi, a 6,088m Andean peak just north of La Paz, Bolivia's administrative capital.

    "Other women are inspired to climb mountains. They see us climbing with our skirts on, and they don't see why they shouldn't do it too," said Quispe.

    Next up for this group is Latin America's highest peak: The 6,961m Aconcagua in Argentina.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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