Bolivian women challenge stereotypes on skateboards in skirts

La Paz, Aug 18 (EFE).- A group of Bolivian girls is breaking stereotypes by skateboarding in traditional indigenous clothes known as cholitas, aiming to promote the sport among women.

The eight girls joined the “ImillaSkate” movement, meaning girl and skateboarding, out of their love for the sport and their traditional outfits that consist of layered skirts, bowler hats and shawls.

The group was born a year ago when the girls got together to film a video for a skateboarding contest in the central city of Cochabamba.

The skaters, who meet on weekends dressed in their traditional clothes, want to encourage more girls to take up the sport.

“It is a tough sport, it is extreme, most are men, but women have to break these chains, these stereotypes and show that we can skateboard too. Being a man or a woman is not a limit,” Ayde Choque, a member of the group, told Efe.

“We feel very proud to wear these clothes that our mothers, aunts, relatives and grandmothers wear,” adds Choque.

Skateboarding in these clothes is not easy as girls cannot see their feet and the weight of the skirts makes it difficult for them to jump with the boards.

“Dressing like this is also a way to show that the cholita is strong because if you fall, you get up, you don’t stay there,” Yanira Villarreal, another member, explains.

Many of the girls found “refuge” in this group due to the support they get to continue skateboarding and to be proud of “their identity” through the traditional clothing.

“For me, it has been beautiful to join the group, one for skateboarding and two for being able to be proud of the dress of the cholitas and help other girls feel the same pride,” one of the members stresses.

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