By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
A group of skater girls in Bolivia has chosen skateboarding as a way of expression without forgetting their indigenous roots. Due to skateboarding being an urban sport, most people think that it demands a certain style of clothes, way of living, or a specific place to practice it. But what's true is that skateboarding is for anyone from anywhere.
No matter how you look, what really matters is that you are enjoying it. Skateboarding is about not giving up and feeling passionate about what you are doing, so much so that if you see a girl skating while at the same time wearing the cultural clothes of her country, it's simply cool!
Bolivia is located in central South America and its capital is La Paz. There you find a lot of nature, diversity and places that you would never forget if visiting, like the Uyuni Salt Flat and the Lake Titicaca. Skateboarding there is growing administratively and as a sport but still has a small community and is packed with potential.
This female skateboard movement launched a documentary about their culture and why skateboarding is the perfect activity for them to feel free without forgetting their ancestory and all the history behind them. Eleven girls skated the Ollantay skatepark and enjoyed the Cochabamba streets.
A perfect moment and place to make this movement known
Imilla Skate was celebrating the Cochabamba Day (September 14th). But the way these girls decided to honor their culture was by skating, while at the same time wearing their traditional clothes like pollera, braids and hats. Each girl carrying their own style but at the same time appearing similar. During the film they were giving eachother support while landing the tricks and skating together.
They are called 'cholas', which means the mestizo and indigenous women. They dress very traditionally and look beautiful with everything, but when you see them with a skateboard it's impossible not to admire them.
So much so, that a whole world took note of them with this documentary that was produced and directed by Q'Alita Productions. They made history and put their indigenous culture on the top, where it belongs. Imilla Skate began to work for the girls in 2019 and since then these girls are more united than ever.
ImillaSkate is focused on teaching, promoting skateboarding and empowering the skate culture to increase the number of skater girls in the country. "We are exploring our cultural context to highlight the Chola that identify us, this legend put together the heroism and political participation to fight for our freedom and independence," ImillaSkate said on their Instagram account.
"The Cholas Cochabambinas are characterized by their tenacious work and constant fight, their sacrifice and love. These are women who contribute to economy, politics, education, culture, science and knowledge," the movement added.
As of now, the documentary has thousands of views, shares and many positive comments. It's amazing to see that an honest action can have an impact and highlight a precious culture and movement, in addition to all the good things that skateboarding offers to all of us every day.
Read also: Pros Take Skateboarding to Indigenous Youth