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The Power of Sport
Beirut
By b.yaacoub
10 Jul 2015

In a world where differences and divisions often drive people apart, sport brings people together. Sport overcomes cultural, social, and political barriers, providing an opportunity for dialogue and positive human interaction.

Transterra Media has the world of sports covered, from the fighting Cholitas of Bolivia, to the female boxers of Calcutta, and more.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 53
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jun 2015

Gilda Arnez (left), 46, from Bolivia, attends a birthday celebration at Latin American Women Association in Barcelona, Spain.
Gilda Arnez migrated to Barcelona for economical reasons in 2004. She left three children back in Bolivia and wanted to improve their future while working in Europe and sending them money. However, life in Spain has not been so good as she expected and she has been working in many small jobs, mostly taking care of old and disabled people. Now that she has legal residency in Spain, she would like to bring her children.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 52
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jun 2015

Gilda Arnez (center), 46, from Bolivia, attends a birthday celebration at Latin American Women Association in Barcelona, Spain.
Gilda Arnez migrated to Barcelona for economical reasons in 2004. She left three children back in Bolivia and wanted to improve their future while working in Europe and sending them money. However, life in Spain has not been so good as she expected and she has been working in many small jobs, mostly taking care of old and disabled people. Now that she has legal residency in Spain, she would like to bring her children.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 54
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jun 2015

Gilda Arnez (right), 46, from Bolivia, and her friend Graciela (left), walk downstairs to the metro station after attending a birthday celebration at Latin American Women Association in Barcelona, Spain.
Gilda Arnez migrated to Barcelona for economical reasons in 2004. She left three children back in Bolivia and wanted to improve their future while working in Europe and sending them money. However, life in Spain has not been so good as she expected and she has been working in many small jobs, mostly taking care of old and disabled people. Now that she has legal residency in Spain, she would like to bring her children.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 55
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jun 2015

Gilda Arnez, 46, from Bolivia, travels by metro after attending a birthday celebration at Latin American Women Association in Barcelona, Spain.
Gilda Arnez migrated to Barcelona for economical reasons in 2004. She left three children back in Bolivia and wanted to improve their future while working in Europe and sending them money. However, life in Spain has not been so good as she expected and she has been working in many small jobs, mostly taking care of old and disabled people. Now that she has legal residency in Spain, she would like to bring her children.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 51
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
16 Jun 2015

Gilda Arnez (center), 46, from Bolivia, visits Leonor (left) and her partner Nixon at her house in Barcelona, Spain. Leonor, a 67-year-old woman, used to be taken care by Gilda few years ago.
Gilda Arnez migrated to Barcelona for economical reasons in 2004. She left three children back in Bolivia and wanted to improve their future while working in Europe and sending them money. However, life in Spain has not been so good as she expected and she has been working in many small jobs, mostly taking care of old and disabled people. Now that she has legal residency in Spain, she would like to bring her children.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 04
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
15 Jun 2015

Gilda Arnez (left), 46, from Bolivia, makes up Josefina's face, at Sant Joan Despí Hospital, Barcelona, Spain. Josefina, a 96-year-old woman, used to be taken care by Gilda few years ago.
Gilda Arnez migrated to Barcelona for economical reasons in 2004. She left three children back in Bolivia and wanted to improve their future while working in Europe and sending them money. However, life in Spain has not been so good as she expected and she has been working in many small jobs, mostly taking care of elder and disabled people. Now that she has legal residency in Spain, she would like to bring her children.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 06
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
15 Jun 2015

Bolivian national Gilda Arnez (left), 46, visits Fina and others at her former job at Sant Joan Despí­ Hospital, in Barcelona.
Gilda Arnez migrated to Barcelona for economical reasons in 2004. She left three children back in Bolivia and wanted to improve their future while working in Europe and sending them money. However, life in Spain has not been so good as she expected and she has been working in many small jobs, mostly taking care of old and disabled people. Now that she has legal residency in Spain, she would like to bring her children.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 49
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
15 Jun 2015

Gilda Arnez (right), 46, from Bolivia, visits Maravillas at her house in Cornellà, Barcelona, Spain. Maravillas, a 90-year-old woman, used to be taken care by Gilda few years ago.
Gilda Arnez migrated to Barcelona for economical reasons in 2004. She left three children back in Bolivia and wanted to improve their future while working in Europe and sending them money. However, life in Spain has not been so good as she expected and she has been working in many small jobs, mostly taking care of old and disabled people. Now that she has legal residency in Spain, she would like to bring her children.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 50
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
15 Jun 2015

Gilda Arnez (right), 46, from Bolivia, visits Maravillas at her house in Cornellà, Barcelona, Spain. Maravillas, a 90-year-old woman, used to be taken care by Gilda few years ago.
Gilda Arnez migrated to Barcelona for economical reasons in 2004. She left three children back in Bolivia and wanted to improve their future while working in Europe and sending them money. However, life in Spain has not been so good as she expected and she has been working in many small jobs, mostly taking care of old and disabled people. Now that she has legal residency in Spain, she would like to bring her children.

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Asylum Seekers in Spain 05
Barcelona, Spain
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
15 Jun 2015

Gilda Arnez (right), 46, from Bolivia, visits Gustavo (center) at Clinica Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. Gilda used to be his caregiver few years ago.
Gilda Arnez migrated to Barcelona for economical reasons in 2004. She left three children back in Bolivia and wanted to improve their future while working in Europe and sending them money. However, life in Spain has not been so good as she expected and she has been working in many small jobs, mostly taking care of elder and disabled people. Now that she has legal residency in Spain, she would like to bring her children.

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Cholitas Wrestling
By Sergio García Locatelli
20 May 2014

A group of bolivian female wrestlers in "El Alto", La Paz seeks for its own moment of glory. The origin of the wrestling was a way to defend themselves from the genre violence.

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Women Wrestling (32 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Marta La Altena humiliates her opponent, to the delighted outrage of the crowd.

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Women Wrestling (33 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Denita La Intocable exhorts her fans to make some noise during her bout with the evil Marta La Altena.

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Women Wrestling (34 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

In the last ten years, increasing numbers of indigenous woman have been entering the rings in the outskirts of La Paz, fighting back against the dominant culture of machismo and discrimination.

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Women Wrestling (35 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Residents of El Alto riveted by the Sunday afternoon action at the 12 Octubre Stadium. The vast majority of the city's population is indigenous - and poor. The weekly bouts make for an inexpensive family day out.

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Women Wrestling (36 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

In an early bout, Dina La Reina Del Ring is ambushed by her female opponent's masked male partner. She manages to get the better of both of them - for now.

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Women Wrestling (37 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

The Polla skirt is one of the most recognisable elements in the Aymara woman's traditional dress. Derived from traditional Spanish costumes of centuries ago, it has become a symbol of indigenous pride.

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Women Wrestling (38 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

The Cholita Luchadores spend a lot of time on their appearance prior to entering the ring. There is an air of female camaraderie in the makeshift changing room, before the battles begin, of course.

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Women Wrestling (39 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Dina La Reina Del Ring, in prayer, before her bout at the 12 Octubre Stadium in El Alto.

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Women Wrestling (40 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Carmen Rojas takes a pinch of Coca Leaf about an hour before she enters the ring. Coca is widely chewed amongst the Aymara and Quechua population. Its practical effects - mental stimulation, appetite suppression and energy are a boon in the ring.

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Women Wrestling (41 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Marta La Altena aka Jenny Mamani Herrera gives her daughter some money to buy groceries with. Her real life personality is a far cry from her evil wrestling persona.

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Women Wrestling (42 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Marta la la Altena is helped by her sister as she prepares for her bout that evening.

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Women Wrestling (43 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Marta La Altena aka jenny Mamani Herrera prepares for her Sunday evening bout. First job...which bowler hat is going to be the perfect match for her outfit? These distinctive hats, worn by Aymara women, were originally intended for use by railroad workers, but struck a chord with indigenous women instead.

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Women Wrestling (44 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Marta La Altena head up the valley towards the main road where a car will take her to the 12 October Stadium for her evening bout. Behind her in the distance can be seen the office blocks of La Paz, Bolivia's literally breath-taking de facto capital.

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Bolivian Female Wrestlers
Bolivia
By U.S. Editor
03 Jun 2012

In the last ten years, increasing numbers of indigenous woman have taken to wrestling in the outskirts of La Paz, fighting back against the dominant culture of machismo and discrimination.

Yolanda La Amarosa flies through the air in a swirl of gold lamé and petticoats, her calves clamped around the throat of her unfortunate opponent. He spins across the ring to land in a sprawl on the canvas, hand pressed against his lower back, face set in a grimace of agony. Quieres mas, cabron? Yolanda cries as she strides over and kicks him in the back of the head. There’s a ripple of applause and laughter from her fellow wrestlers, who are hanging on the ropes, waiting their turn to practice the same sequence.

The ring is set up in a junkyard on the outskirts of El Alto, a sprawling migrant city that was once just a suburb of La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. The wrestlers are training on torn mattresses atop wooden planks. It’s late afternoon and the sun dips quickly behind the peaks of the altiplano. At well over 4000 metres, the air is thin and freezing. As the session ends, Yolanda puts her bowler hat on at a jaunty angle, sits on a pile of bricks and asks me, que quieres saber…?

Yolanda Veraluz was one of the first cholita luchadores in Bolivia. Like almost all her fellow female wrestlers, she’s indigenous Aymara – a descendant of the Tiahuanaco culture that predated the Inca. Women started wrestling in Bolivia in the nineties, going head to head with the men. In a country where machismo is almost a reflex, the cholita luchadores have become a symbol of female empowerment – a fact of which Yolanda is all too aware. “We’ve shown that women don’t have to accept discrimination and humiliation… that a woman can speak with the same voice as the man. She has the same rights as her husband – to study, to work, to get ahead.”

Once derogatory, the chola moniker has become a source of pride. In October 2011, many of the top cholita wrestlers broke away from the main wrestling organization, Titanes del Ring, which was dominated by one man, Juan Mamani. Disillusioned with Mamani’s autocratic approach, they set up an independent association and are going it alone. "Juan Mamani stole our money," says Yolanda. "But we realized that we don't need him. We can do this ourselves."

Populist president Evo Morales has been a vocal champion of Bolivia's predominantly poor indigenous population - in particular its women. In 2010, he put together a cabinet that was evenly split between genders and which included three indigenous women. There are now signs of an emerging indigenous middle class in the capital La Paz. “Five years ago, we were looked down upon – we used to just wait on the rich,” Yolanda tells me. “But now, thanks to our President, we’re working in banks, in offices and even in government.”

Multimedia Piece Available Here:
http://transterramedia.com/media/15848

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Women Wrestling (2 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

An indigenous woman begs outside Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz. La Paz has long been a place of both indigenous and gender discrimination, as well as a hotbed of revolution.

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Women Wrestling (3 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Marta La Altena adds the final touches to her wrestling costume in preparation for her Sunday night bout. Marta - real name Jenny Mamani Herrera - supplements her income from wrestling by making and selling associated paraphernalia.

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Women Wrestling (4 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Martha La Altena and her sister, Maria la Maldita - real name Maria Mamani Herrera - put on earrings and make up before Martha's fight in El Alto at night. Only women from the Aymara ethnic group wear the distinctive bowler hats that were introduced in the early 1900's.

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Women Wrestling (5 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Martha La Altena leaves home late on a Sunday afternoon for her fight that evening. Her sister, Maria la Maldita, an ex Lucha Libre champion, is pregnant and stays at home. She runs a small store close by. Though wrestling can bring some fame, it brings in very little money.

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Women Wrestling (6 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Veteran wrestler Yolanda La Amorosa chokes relative newcomer Mercedes La Extremista against the top rope during a training session at a homemade ring on the outskirts of El Alto. The only padding is some old mattresses atop planks of wood.

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Women Wrestling (7 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Yolanda La Amorosa tangles with Mercedes La Extremista during a training session in El Alto. Yolanda recently injured her back quite seriously and had just returned to training after a 3 month hiatus.

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Women Wrestling (8 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

The Cholita Luchadores wrestle in the traditional clothes of the Aymara woman, which date back as far as the 17th century. Yolanda La Amorosa shows how flimsy and slippery the colourful slippers are compared to the professional boots the men wear.

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Women Wrestling (9 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Mariella Averanga aka 'Denita la Intocable' , stands ringside before her fight with Martha La Altena. She is 31 years of age, has one daughter. Her day job is as a shop owner

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Women Wrestling (10 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Denita La Intocable tries to stagger to her feet during her bout with Marta La Altena. As with all wrestlers around the world, each wrestler has a good or evil persona - Denita 'The Untouchable' is one of the good guys - though that doesn't prevent her from losing her bout on this occasion.

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Women Wrestling (11 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Martha puts Denita into a rear naked choke during their fight at a repurposed warehouse in El Alto. Denita's plight is not helped by the fact that the referee is ludicrously biased towards her opponent.

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Women Wrestling (12 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

The tides turn for the umpteenth time during their fight as the theatrics continue to unfold.

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Women Wrestling (13 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Yolanda La Amorosa - real name Yolanda Veraluz was one of the first women wrestlers in Bolivia. Her father was a wrestler, but refused to train her when she was a child.

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Women Wrestling (14 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Juanita la Carinosa aka Mary Llanos is one of the key figures in a breakaway group of independent wrestlers who broke away from the most dominant organisation, Los Titanes Del Ring (Titans of the Ring). They claimed that the boss, Juan Mamani, was exploiting them.

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Women Wrestling (15 of 44)
Bolivia
By James Morgan
03 Jun 2012

Marta La Altena poses before her bout . Much effort goes into a wrestler's appearance, though she will likely end the evening in a state of dishevelment.