I never thought I’d attend a wrestling match ever, let alone in Bolivia of all places. But that’s exactly how I passed a Sunday afternoon in La Paz. I attended “Cholitas Wrestling,” a wrestling event infamous for its cholita fighters. Cholitas are women dressed in traditional Bolivian clothing. We knew it would be ridiculous, but we didn’t realize just how ridiculous.
Like WWF wrestling, the fighting was a farce (well, other than that part when a man split a chair over a woman’s head). The fighters delivered well-timed blows and kicks and reacted with screams and groans of pain. Instead of arbitrating the fights, the referees often aided one player. There were men fighters dressed in typical wrestling costumes, but there were also women fighters. You can imagine the spectacle that posed, a man in a Mexican wrestling mask fight a woman in a long skirt and bowler hat. We, of course, cheered for the women, especially the plump one who repeatedly blew air kisses to our friend. One fighter, who was dressed like Spiderman, acted like a true comic-book hero. My favorite character was the clown who came running out singing and skipping with a group of little children before he beat up another fighter.
I don’t know if I learned anything from witnessing my first wrestling match. It was certainly very random. And at the end of the day I can say that I saw Bolivian señoras beating each other up.
Enjoying jello at the match
A cholita rousing the crowd
Even the baby got into it!