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Escaramuza: Preserving Tradition and Identity

A group of mexican escaramuzas performing a trick - Image

Charrería, Mexico’s national sport, is much like the rodeo found in the United States — equally high stakes, similar competition and same machismo.

Charros, horsemen adorned in ornate costumes and oversized sombreros, are synonymous with Mexican culture the world over. And yet, the national pastime of charrería, categorized by UNESCO as “intangible cultural heritage,” grossly underrepresented women.

But it wasn’t long before las chingonas de Mexico saddled up to the boys forming teams of 8 female equestrians known as escaramuzas to compete in their own faction of the competitive sport. Escaramuzas expertly perform on horseback in a synchronized event described as a “horse ballet.” The event, executed by an expertly trained all-femme cast in required regalia, is inspired by the Adelitas, the female soldiers who fought in the Mexican Revolution.

This time-honored tradition recently picked up steam in the states with a record number of teen girls from the U.S. signing up. Refinery29’s Connie Wang followed two escaramuza teams on their journey to combat their fears surrounding cultural stigmas and firmly lasso their Latinx pride.

Jessica Hoppe

Jessica Hoppe is a New York-based writer and social media strategist who founded her blog, Nueva Yorka, in 2015. She has been featured in Vogue, Yahoo, HuffPost, PopSugar, Who What Wear, Ravishly and worked as Lifestyle Editor for StyleCaster. Jessica has been passionate about writing, diversity and Latin American culture from an early age. Having grown up in a Spanish speaking home, her father is Ecuadorian and her mother is from Honduras.

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