“We should respect everyone for who they are. We want to show how beautiful Bolivia’s culture is.” The athletes say the view is amazing, and the park is calm because it’s far from the city.
They pair their Vans sneakers with their mom’s and grandma’s polleras — colorful, layered skirts worn by the country’s Indigenous Aymara and Quechua population. Though the sexual assaults in 2009 rocked the community and marred its history, life has since seemingly returned to normal in the colony. This story focuses on how the women in Tiraque, a municipality located at 3300 meter height in the Cochabamba valley, adapt to climate change. Surprisingly, climate change has led to more gender equality instead.
The popular uprising was successful in overthrowing the governor and instating a self-ruling government. She helped to recruit thousands of men and women and led Indigenous troops against the Spanish, but lost her husband and four of her children in the war. She didn’t return home until 1825—the year Bolivia won its independence from Spain. Despite the praises she received during her service, the 82-year-old retired colonel died in poverty, with no military pension. These stories undoubtedly show us how women have demonstrated courage, solidarity and resilience in every era of Bolivian history.
- When her Indigenous mother died in 1787, Azurduy grew close to her father, who taught her to ride a horse and shoot a gun.
- The Mennonites of Manitoba Colony are a remote religious community of European descent living in Bolivia.
- The Manitoba Colony, located approximately 93 miles outside of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, is a roughly 2,000-person Mennonite community that largely operates away from the rest of the country.
- In these spaces, these two women managed to take the reins of public policy, influencing the development of innovative legislation in the country.
Now, after having conquered seven mountains, I want to climb Mount Everest and have my polleras flutter there,” says Cecilia Llusco. She, like her companions, was born and grew up surrounded by the Andes mountains. The girls dance at Pairumani Park on the outskirts of Cochabamba. “We are all unique and our differences make the world such a rich place,” says Daniela Santiváñez.
Around the world: 16 Days of Activism
Luisa Dörr is a Brazilian photographer whose work is mainly focused on the feminine human landscape. The group is based in Cochabamba, but through social media it has garnered an audience well beyond Bolivia. ImillaSkate has more than 24,000 followers on Instagram, 8,000-plus followers on Facebook, and a YouTube channel where some of its videos get thousands of views. find more at https://latindate.org/central-american-women/bolivian-women/ During the past three years, ImillaSkate has grown to nine skaters. Being an active member means weekly practice and shared respect for diversity and tradition. The polleras billow and twirl with every turn, jump, and occasional tumble.
Empowering women in Bolivia
The victory inspired other working women, such as florists, to organize. The movement later obtained monumental wins such as the eight-hour workday, free childcare for working mothers and the recognition of cooks as professionals. “By skating in polleras, we want to show that girls and women can do anything, no matter how you look or how people see you,” says Daniela Santiváñez, who founded ImillaSkate with two friends in 2019. Research conducted on the collection, use, and vending of traditional medicines by rural Bolivian women indicates that it is an important economic activity as well as having a place in the health system of high altitude inhabitants. The aim of this paper is to discuss the intersection of an approach that focuses on the exchange of traditional medicines with an ethnobotanical perspective that considers the medicines themselves. Women are the focus of this intersection because they are central to the enterprise of collecting and selling traditional medicines, which is an expanding business opportunity due in part to demands by urban consumers. In 2009, a group of men were convicted of the rape and sexual assault of more than 100 women and girls in the colony.
“We’re fighting for women’s voices to be heard cause we’re women to be seen,” Mendez says. With the fight for independence in full swing, many cities and towns were left defenseless as the men charged toward the battlefield. At least that’s what José Manuel de Goyeneche—a general of the Realist forces—believed when he attacked Cochabamba. He didn’t know that an army of 300 women and children, led by the elderly Manuela de Gandarillas, was waiting for him. Gandarillas, armed with a saber and mounted on her horse, purportedly said, “If there are no men, then here we are to confront the enemy and to die for the homeland,” before clashing with the general’s men. Bolivians commemorate the courage of the “Heroines of the Coronilla” on May 27, Mother’s Day. More recently, cholas have made history by foraying into sports typically dominated by men, such as lucha libre and mountain climbing.
The Mennonites of Manitoba Colony are a remote religious community of European descent living in Bolivia. They have strict, ultraconservative Christian beliefs and mostly eschew modernity in their practices to preserve their own traditions. Toews was also raised in a Mennonite town in Canada before leaving the ultraconservative religious colony when she turned 18, which helped inform her novel. In 2009, eight men were convicted of raping and sexually assaulting more than 100 women in the colony.