Most Americans (gringos or otherwise) have heard of the Latin sport of lucha libre, or buckwild wrestling. What most Americans DON’T know is that lots of cute little South American ladies, called “cholitas,” can seriously throw down. They’re wild. Check it out.
The term Cholita was invented by colonialist Spaniards as a way to denigrate the Andean population, but has since been adopted by the very people it was meant to injure. Native women refer to themselves proudly as “cholitas”, and we even encountered a pageant to crown Miss Cholita Paceña 2011. But it’s still a dangerous word for gringos to be tossing about. The historical sting of racism is just below the surface, so if the word “cholita” escapes your lips, you had better make sure that it’s used respectfully. Like this: “Holy Christ, watching those two cholitas kick the hell out of each other was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Bolivians are wild for wrestling; posters of famous American wrestlers are everywhere, and you can’t go a block in La Paz without seeing seeing it on a curbside television set. Bolivia doesn’t have a professional league on the same level as the USA’s WWE, but El Alto’s Sunday afternoon Lucha Libre makes a solid substitute.
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