Meet Monserrat Alvarez.
We were connected with Monserrat through one of our other #wcw crushes, Andrea Brooks. Monserrat has a bright and vibrant energy and a fighting spirit to make outdoor spaces more accessible for all people.
We are inspired by her passion to educate others and to be a role model to the next generation. Monserrat is part of Brown Girls Climb and organization that "aims to promote and increase visibility of diversity in climbing by establishing a community of climbers of color, encouraging leadership opportunities for self-identified women climbers of color, and by creating inclusive opportunities to climb and explore for under represented communities.
Connect with Mons on Instagram at @outdoor_chingona.
What do you do?
I Rock Climb.
What else do you do?
White water rafting and backpacking.
How do you define the word 'strength'?
Strength is what you need to be resilient in the face of adversity and challenges.
How did you discover your passion/work/niche?
When I was in college I was introduced to rock climbing, however I did not feel like I belonged in those spaces. Once I moved to Colorado, I began to find my own space with other women who climb.
How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?
My work outdoors requires constant movement, from ice breakers to rock climbing.
Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?
I would say bouldering is a more accessible way to try out rock climbing, it doesn't require a lot of gear or a climbing partner.
WMC Explanation: Bouldering is rock climbing stripped down to its raw essentials. Forget about the climbing gear, like ropes and harnesses, and grab a pair of climbing shoes, a safety mat (usually helpful), and some chalk for your hands. You don't need a large, high route to climb, your challenge is to climb shorter, but tricky routes, which make you focus on balance, strength, technique, and your mind (yes, you actually need to think and strategize). Here is an article that we found on some tips to start Bouldering. Now go outside and find a rock to climb, or look up your local climbing gym.
Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?
Yes! Especially when I am surrounded by women who love and support each other in the sport.
As young girls of color- what is one thing you heard growing up that took years to unlearn and break down? I can vividly remember being told I couldn't (get into honor classes, create change, be beautiful, join reading club, etc.). Thankful that I always had my mom telling me, si se puede mija. Today we had a climber who I connected with so much: "I liked that when I would say I can't, you would say I can". She finished her first rock climb and started crying, I held her...I knew that feeling, it was the feeling of "si pude!" #browngirlsclimb #chingonas #sisepuede #sisepudo
What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)
When I am trad leading on a route and get nervous, I start singing! My go to is normally any Selena song!
What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?
You are enough. You don't need to fit in with anyone's standards of what it means to be a "climber"!
Are there any women or groups that motivate you that you'd like to see us connect with or interview?
Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?
My Brown Girls Climb gang and all the badass women in my life.