Cholitas are Indigenous Bolivian women in traditional clothing. Walking around La Paz you see them in the markets selling their wares and you would have no clue how tough some of these ladies are. Every Sunday in the town of El Alto right outside of La Paz you these Cholitas showcase their athletic abilities and general toughness as they often face off with men in the wrestling ring. The don’t wear wrestling tights, masks or even boots, but they step into the ring with their plaited skirts, bowler hats and sandals and give the crowd one hell of a show.
The Cholita on the left played the “bad” character and she was very good at it. I thought it was interesting all the Cholitas came into the ring wearing earrings and part of the opening ritual was taking of this jewellery. The Cholita on the right is looking over her male Skeleton opponent as he enters the ring.
The Cholitas even cut promos in the ring. The microphone wasn’t the best and neither is my Spanish but I am sure she was quite mean to him and convinced him of her superior fighting skills. Also the word “Maricon” (a not so nice way in Spanish of saying homosexual) often was part of her speech.
We got to see two male wrestlers only matches but the main stars are the Cholitas. I wonder how this plays out in a pretty machismo oriented culture. The two guys above were wearing full body suits under their costumes and went at it pretty hard outside the ring. I guess a Bolivian version of a hardcore match. “El Lobo” the werewolf looking fellow came out into the crowd and caused quite a frenzy there. Jason showed up out of nowhere and hit him with chairs and steel barricades. I don’t think this was a fully licensed Jason though.
The Ninja looking fellow (good guy) bowed to Heejung when he passed by us. Don’t know if it was a challange or a sign of respect. We decided to let him be. The guy on the right was “El Mariachi” sadly he didn’t bring any musical instruments to the ring to hit the other guy with. Maybe outside of the budget.
Ninja pictured moments later wasn’t doing too well. The Cholita he was facing hit him with a chair and surprisingly the referee wasn’t watching at that exact moment. The Skeleton guy was part of the only tag-team fight of the night.
She was awesome. Very passionate, shouted a lot of “Maricon” to the wrestlers who often responded to her. The most creative response was “Bruja” (witch).
A lot of the other tourists got really into the matches and the masks were quite a popular souvenir item. I got one myself for 30 bolivianos. Below is Heejung posing in it.
Some more fans getting into it. The wrestlers made sure to often leave the ring and go into the crowds for some more interactive action.
Cool local girl was was totally into the action.
Here we go ! Action time !
Frankenstein versus generic bad guy. The wooden board slammed on Frankenstein’s head didn’t effect him at all. Somehow the referee didn’t mind the use of foreign objects. Maybe a pitchfork and a torch would have had more effect if old black and white movies have taught me anything. anyway, Frankenstein won and he actually gave a very inspirational winning speech that went “Ugggh Ugh Uggggghh”. I’m sure that’s where he thanked his maker Doctor Frankenstein.
This was probably my favorite match. Ninja guy versus Bad Cholita. Lots of humour and action in this match. I’m just going to let the pictures do the talking.
In the End the Ninja guy won.
This was Good Cholita versus Arrogant bad guy. The picture above shows her finishing move where he runs into her butt. I guess that’s enough to knock him out.
This was the second male on male match. Big nose Mask versus El Mariachi. Wasn’t as great expect when big nose took of his shirt and choked El Mariachi with it. Questionable of the legality of that move.
This was the final Cholita match. Tag team match of 2 Good Cholitas versus Black and White Mask guys.
The good Cholitas won. but in the end we all won.
Useful information: We used the Cholita Wrestling Tour. It cost 80 bolivianos, included entrance tickets, bus from and to hotel, postcard and souvenir and soda and popcorn to throw at the wrestlers. More info at their website.