Bolivian Teresa Huayta uses wrestling to press for the rights of indigenous people in her native country. Cholitas, indigenous women who wear pollera skirts and have their hair in plaits, often face discrimination in Bolivia, one of South America’s poorest countries.
Wrestling has brought Teresa fans from all backgrounds in the country who now see cholitas as equals, which is something she says allows her to “wear her pollera skirt with such pride”.
Talking about the crucial role wrestling plays in her life, Teresa says: “When I’m in the ring, I feel excited and happy. I forget about everything and it changes my character.”
While there is a still a long way to go in terms of their socioeconomic situation, Teresa remains positive about the future of cholitas in Bolivia. “There is an antidiscrimination law where people can be prosecuted and imprisoned for saying things like ‘that chola’. Nowadays, we are accepted everywhere. There are cholitas in parliament and cholita senators.”
|“When I’m in the ring, I feel excited and happy. I forget about everything and it changes my character,” says Teresa Huayta [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]|
Source: Al Jazeera