Tips & News

Aretha Duarte Is Officially the First Black Latin American Woman to Climb Mount Everest

Barriers broken at 5,300 meters.

GETTY IMAGES

By Stacey Leasca

Jun 16, 2021

ARETHA DUARTE CAN PROUDLY say she made history in 2021.

In May, Duarte, a 37-year-old Brazilian woman, became the very first Black Latin American woman to climb Mount Everest. And, she was kind enough to document her entire journey on Instagram for her 36,000 followers.

“On the 10th day of the mountain we arrive at Everest Base Camp (5,300 meters), where we will stay for most of the expedition, next 30-40 days,” Duarte wrote on Instagram alongside her first image from Everest Base Camp. “It’s amazing how giant everything is, beautiful! We know the entire team that will work with us on this journey.”

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From there, she brought followers along for a tour inside her tent, for local ceremonies, for meetings with other female climbers, and more.

“There are very difficult moments here, such as breathing, eating, going to the bathroom, taking a shower, the low temperature and high altitude generate a lot of discomfort, but what I miss most is my family and friends,” Duarte noted in a video of Base Camp. “Everything is temporary, I stay focused on the positive results in all the actions chosen and I move forward because I know that social transformation takes time and requires great efforts.”

Duarte even shared the scary moments of her climb, noting in one post that she developed pulmonary edema and retinal burns.

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But, she was able to take it all in stride as she had trained for more than a year alongside her teammates who climbed this literal and figurative mountain with her.

“Our team is made up of human beings who breathe high performance, even when the air is thin. They open our minds to the impossible, even when routes close before our eyes,” Duarte wrote.

Though she’s already in the history books, Duarte says on Instagram that her work still isn’t quite complete.

“I am focused on activating actions in the region where I live, on the outskirts of Campinas, as a pilot project and subsequently expanding,” she wrote. “We will have a sustainable and exemplary future.”

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