In the Andean highlands of South America's most rugged nation, women of Aymara descent dressed in their traditional finery of embroidered shawls, colorful multilayered skirts, and bowler hats before they step into the ring for an intense battle that usually results in blood and bruises. It is Bolivia's answer to Lucha Libre, and it has captured the imagination of crowds throughout the country.
Known as cholitas luchadores, these women fight it out for four hours every Sunday to packed crowds who cheer on favorite characters. And these cholitas do not fight each other exclusively; they also toss it up with male wrestlers. While these women are not gaining much monetarily from the experience (Bolivia is, after all, one of the poorest nations in the hemisphere), some claim that the activity allows them to express some of their frustrations and fury. Others see it as an artistic expression. Regardless of their reasons for wrestling, they have struck a chord with audiences, who cheer and jeer every week.