Crowds in Bolivia are flocking to wrestling matches featuring proud, well-dressed Indigenous women known as Cholitas. Just like in American pro wrestling, most of the body slams, headlocks, and takedowns are choreographed. But the respect the women are finally winning after generations of racism and discrimination is absolutely real.

Cholitas mainly come from the Aymara or Quechua Indigenous groups. Just 10 years ago, they weren’t allowed to go to college, work in most professions, or even walk in certain neighborhoods. New laws and policies have begun protecting their rights and changing these wrongs. Cholitas are also becoming more accepted in society, in part because of wrestling.

When they started wrestling 15 years ago, the ring became the rare place where Cholitas could express themselves. The crowds grew, and the women now earn twice as much as the male wrestlers who sometimes spar with them. After matches, they teach self-defense moves to attendees.