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Las Cholitas Luchadores, or the Fighting Cholitas, are a WWE style wrestling organization that operates in a small stadium in El Alto, about 25 minutes from the center of La Paz. In the approximately two and a half hour “show” you’ll see half a dozen matches between men and between women and men. The men’s costumes are outlandish, while the women perform in traditional Andean dress. In a world where Andean women have traditionally had fewer opportunities than men, in these wrestling matches they become the crowd favorites and heroes to the local community in El Alto. It’s a symbolic fight that has as much cultural relevance as La Diablada in Oruro.
The fights occur every Sunday afternoon and a tour agency in La Paz, Andean Secrets (www.cholitaswrestling.com) has been providing tours that include transportation, entrance, snack, a small souvenir, and ringside seating for 80 Bolivianos.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.