Mayan Woman Makes History At LA Marathon, Running In Traditional Huipil & Huaraches
María del Carmen Tun Cho becomes the first Mayan woman to run in the Los Angeles marathon.
The 46-year-old mother of 6 ran in traditional huipil and huaraches, draped in her nation's flag.
María del Carmen Tun Cho, a Q’eqchi Maya woman from Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, began running marathons just three years ago.
María trains on dirt roads and eats "nothing more than beans, tomatoes, chili," but that didn't stop her from winning northern Guatemala's Ak' Wank race in both 2017 and 2018.
La atleta q’eqchi’ María del Carmen Tun Cho en su participación en la Maratón de Los Ángeles, Estados Unidos, utiliza el número 21447. Video de Teófilo Barrientos @tododeportes_pl pic.twitter.com/iwpp7D0u0X— Eduardo Sam Chun (@SamChun_PL) March 24, 2019
María runs to promote women's rights and empowerment, a major issue in her country and throughout Latin America and the world, especially among indigenous women. She tells EFE:
"Women have a lot to give, regardless of our age, our race, whether we work in the fields or the city."
With a large household to run and land to farm, María doesn't have much time to train. Fortunately, her husband, children, and grandchildren all support her because, as María says, "Empowering women is a job for the whole family."
Although she didn't win Sunday's 34th LA Marathon, María says:
"For me, participating is already a triumph because I have been able to show that a woman can do many things if she wants to."