International group of mountain women summit Mount Aconcagua


An international group of 14 women from the Mountain Women of the World network successfully summited Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest peak in the western hemisphere. In recognition of their achievement, Nora Vicario, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Argentina, honoured the athletes during a ceremony at the Cornelio Moyano Museum of Natural and Anthropological Sciences.

The women reached the summit of Mount Aconcagua on 19 February 2023. The expedition brought together women from five countries for a collaborative experience with the aim to empower them as mountain women – the guardians of mountains, nature and their communities.

Also present at the ceremony were Humberto Mingorance, Secretary of Environment and Territorial Planning, Government of Mendoza, Argentina; Cinthya Vicente, Bolivian Consulate in Mendoza; Laura Horta, Dean of the Faculty of Education at Juan Agustín Maza University; Cecilia Rodríguez, Provincial Deputy of UCR Cambia Mendoza; and Fernanda Sabadín, a senator of Mendoza.

Minister Vicario said, "From the entire provincial government, we support this great project and the women who have bridged the digital divide to meet all together in Mendoza for this expedition."

During the meeting, Bolivian Consulate Vicente gave a special mention to Sonia Altamirano Dorado, Julia Quispe Tincuta and Cecilia Llusco Alaña, three cholitas from the Plurinational State of Bolivia who participated in the expedition.

Patricia Breuer Moreno of Mujeres a la Cumbre, a participant and the project expedition organizer, said, "Together with my partners, we started Mujeres a la Cumbre, an initiative for female mountaineers worldwide to connect and share their passion for hiking and their thirst for adventure. Through the network, we formed a diverse team from Argentina, Chile, Italy and Nepal. Together, we could exchange stories and share our cultures."

Mujeres al la Cumbre is a member organization of the Mountain Partnership, the United Nations alliance dedicated to mountain peoples and environments. They are also a co-founder of the Mountain Women of the World network, which aims to develop a transnational community of mountain women to build their collective leadership, strengthen economic justice, and harness the collective knowledge and experience of mountain women to protect mountains.

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat teamed up with the Mountain Women of the World network and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2022 to produce the publication Mountain women of the world – Challenges, resilience and collective power for International Mountain Day.

"This expedition has been a dream of the Mountain Women of the World network for years," said Patricia. "We chose Aconcagua because we knew it would provide our initiative an international platform for visibility. Our goal is to share the challenges that each of our members experience as mountain women and to learn from each other."

Although not all 14 women reached the summit, as a group, they were proud of their feat, stressing that climbing the mountain is a step-by-step challenge and the top is as far as one can go.

Patricia added, "The cultural diversity of the group added something unique and wonderful. Shared learning offers a wealth unlike anything else. Our greatest motivation, from inception to completion, was to have a collaborative experience. I feel forever grateful I got to share it with such amazing women."

The women who participated in the expedition included: Patricia Breuer Moreno, María Belén Escudero, Sofía Lana, Karen Fabiola Martínez, Julieta Alejandra Balza, Valeria Gimenez and María Soledad Figueroa from Argentina; Sonia Altamirano Dorado, Julia Quispe Tincuta and Cecilia Llusco Alaña from the Plurinational State of Bolivia; Stephanie Carmody Lobo and María Fajardo from Chile; Cecilia Mariani and Alessandra Segantin from Italy; and Muna Gurung from Nepal.

Learn more
Read Mountain women of the world – Challenges, resilience and collective power
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Sources: Mendoza Government Press, Diario Uno and Orato

Photo: ©Patricia Breuer Moreno

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