2022 — Bolivia
About this series
Climbing Cholitas is part of three Cholitas Bravas series: Cholitas Luchadoras (Wrestling Cholitas), Cholitas Escaladoras (Climbing Cholitas) and Cholitas Skaters.
After contacting one of the climbing Cholitas in Bolivia I got to photograph the younger generation of the hiking girls.
The Cholita Climbers of Bolivia are a group of Aymara women who summit different mountains all throughout Latin America while wearing their traditional dresses. The group was formed in 2015, and the women are all part of a tight knit community who work and live in the mountains. The group of Andean women is from La Paz, most of them wives of mountain guides who work with their husbands as cooks and assistants in the base camps and high camps. Their most recent expedition has become their most notable, as on January 23, 2019 they became the first Aymara women to summit Aconcagua.
The women climb in their traditional “Cholita” garb, but trade in their bowler hats for helmets, and use modern equipment including ropes, harnesses, crampons and boots. They are proud of their Aymara origin and traditional dress. They are now considering climbing Everest.
Celia D. Luna is a visual artist who specializes in fashion and portrait photography.
She had a culturally rich childhood immersed in the Andean folklore and traditions of rural Peru. This colorful and magical landscape shaped her approach to photography and fashion. Celia brings diverse cultures and powerful women to life through her narrative approach to photography. She currently resides in Miami, a city’s whose multicultural influence continues to shape her evocative style.