“Cholitas” are Bolivian women with indigenous heritage known for their colorful attire, round top hats and ornate earrings. In the world’s highest capital city of La Paz, Bolivia, 11 Cholitas are on a mission to overcome sexism and discriminatory attitudes and climb mountains in their traditional garb. Led by Jimena Lidia Huaylas, the Cholita Climbers were once high-mountain cooks. But since December 2015, they’ve been ascending the country’s snowy peaks as mountain climbers. United by their love of mountains and a sense of defiance, the Cholita Climbers will stop at nothing to attain the feeling of freedom that comes from scaling great heights.
This story is a part of our Frontiers series, where we bring you front and center to the dreamers, pioneers, and innovators leading society at the cutting edge. Let us take you along for a trip to the oft-imagined but rarely accomplished.
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