LA PAZ – Female climbers from Argentina, Bolivia, France, Peru and Venezuela lived a “historic” experience in the Bolivian Andes, where they exchanged cultural experiences.
“We chose Bolivia for its magnificent mountain scenery. This experience was historic because it inspired a rich mountain and Andean exchange we will never forget,” Mujer Montaña Argentina director Griselda Moreno told EFE.
Moreno is part of a group of 11 climbers – three from Latin America and eight from France – who chose to climb the mountains in the Cordillera Real this month.
Bolivian Denys Sanjines and Venezuelan Susana Rodriguez were among the climbers on the expedition.
The Latin American climbers participated in a forum at the Catholic University, discussing their intercultural and environmental experiences during the Bolivian expedition.
Moreno said the experience was difficult not only because of the mountains, but also due to the “culture clash” between Latin American and European climbers.
“We lived tense moments that ended up with communication based on silence,” Moreno said.
The Latin Americans taught the Europeans to first ask the mountain for permission before climbing and learned to perform the Pachamama (Mother Earth) ritual with coca leaves and alcohol, the Argentine climber said.
“This caused the girls to cry,” Moreno said.
The women were able to support each other when the altitude affected climbers’ health, the Argentine said.