(FOTOGRAFIX / BBC)
22-year-old María Lorena Ramírez from Mexico's Tarahumara indigenous community won this year's Ultra Trail Cerro Rojo Ultramarathon -- wearing sandals made from tire rubber! The Tarahumara word for themselves, Rarámuri, means "runners on foot" and the community is famous for its running ability. Ramírez defeated 500 other runners from 12 countries to win the women's 50k race in seven hours and three minutes despite having no professional training or gear. Race organizer Orlando Jiménez said, “She didn’t bring any gel, nor energy sweets, walking stick, glasses or those very expensive running shoes that everyone wears to run in the mountains. Just a bottle of water, her hat and a kerchief.” While never having trained for an ultramarathon, Ramírez leads a very active lifestyle; walking 6 to 9 miles daily for her job tending goats and cattle. Her win earned her an award of 6,000 pesos (£253), and she plans to run again in the future and show others what's possible even with just the basics. Congratulations to Maria Ramírez on her win and to inspiring women across the world!
An 81-year-old who set up an all-woman rubbish collection team in her village in Lebanon now has a stream of visitors asking how she did it. Zeinab Mokalled has shown that when government fails, do-it-yourself local initiatives can work. It would also have been up to the women to sort the recycling, and probably to put out the rubbish. So Zeinab needed volunteers to go door-to-door to get the message to the women in every house - and for this job, in a Lebanese Muslim community in the mid-1990s, men would have been inappropriate. They had no equipment, and no infrastructure. So how to begin? Mokalled's friend Khadija Farhat bought a lorry out of her own pocket. Mokalled herself turned her back garden into a storage area for recyclable waste. The initiative has done unbelievably well, inspiring the women of the nearby village of Kaffaremen to set up their own initiative. The nearby town of Jaarjoua has also decided to follow suit. The work these women are doing is changing the world, one plastic bottle at a time.
(Eduardo Leal / Washington Post)
“Lucha libre” – a free fight – is a version of professional wrestling that originated in Mexico. Bolivia adopted this partially choreographed, violent and physically demanding entertainment and put a twist on it. The stars of the show are women from the city of El Alto. These wrestlers are known as cholitas luchadores. They are indigenous Bolivian women. Traditionally, they wear bright multi-layered skirts and plait their hair, priding themselves on looking their best in the ring. Cholitas play one of two characters: either an evil “rudo” or a good “tecnico”. The latter usually wins this pre-arranged fight to send a positive message to the audience, but not before she gets a good beating. Luchadores don’t hold back in the ring. For them it’s more than just work, a show or a sport – it’s a chance to escape realities, to become strong and free. Traumas are a regular occurrence in the ring, but they don’t stop the luchadores, some of whom are even prepared to fight while pregnant. They also have aliases, names for their powerful and fearless alter-egos. Luchadores are looked up to, envied and sometimes feared, even though outside the ring they are regular women: wives, mothers, business owners and even schoolgirls.
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x