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Cholitas run La Paz

Okay, so to begin:

Cholita: Indigenous Aymara woman wearing a long puffy skirt (to hide their sex-appealing calves), two long braids, and a very small top hat whose placement indicates her relationship status (straight= married, tilted right: widow, tilted left= single!).

These women run the local food economy in the street markets while simultaneously providing childcare for babies and toddlers.

The matriarchs also demonstrate their strength in Cholita wrestling matches that are attended by locals and tourists alike in the highest section of La Paz.

The Cholitas we saw at the wrestling match didn’t quite match up to the image I had in my head of grandmas pulling braids and ripping skirts, but rather a theatre troupe having a good rowdy time (and making money while doing it!)

Would I pay to do it again? No. Am I glad to have experienced the absolutely unrelenting drama that was Cholita wrestling? Yes.

Anywho, here’s what we’ve done in the two days we’ve spent in La Paz:

  • Missed our connecting flight after waiting an hour in line for a visa behind a family of EIGHT PEOPLE. jeez

  • Spent three nights at a bougie hostel that’s more like a hotel (private room with 4 beds, hot shower and toilet, towels!!)

  • Walked to a witches market, complete with dead (by natural causes) baby llamas used in indigenous rituals

  • Watched a very tense local soccer game

  • Ate pizza

  • Ate lots of soup (it’s cold here)

  • Went on a walking tour (very much not free but would recommend- Red Cap tours)

  • Cholita wrestling, of course

Aside from mild headaches and breathing like I just sprinted a mile from one uphill block at this high altitude (3660 meters), La Paz has been awesome. The views are insane, the people are kind, food is plentiful.

Lots of love,

Lauren Kinsey Kuhlman

1 Comment

Donna Bradley
Aug 16, 2022

I love being able to follow your journey. We keep looking up videos on Youtibe to educate ourselves. Definitely improving my geography. 😊💕 Love you both!

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