Aretha Duarte of Brazil has made history as the first-ever Black Latinx woman to make the 29,000-foot trek to the top of Mount Everest, the highest summit on Earth.
Gabriela Miranda of USA Today reported that Duarte completed her journey to the top of Mount Everest on May 23 and is just now descending back down to lower, more populous regions for the news of her accomplishment to finally spread.
“Duarte documented her climb through her Instagram and said the mountain challenged her physically and mentally,” Miranda reported. “In an Instagram post, Duarte said she developed a pulmonary edema, which can be caused by high elevation or exposure to toxins.”
Duarte trained for over a year for the adventure with team members that she later praised for “their support, high performance and guidance on the trip.”
“Our team is made up of human beings who breathe high performance, even when the air is thin,” Duarte wrote in an Instagram post. “They open our minds to the impossible, even when routes close before our eyes.”
Before setting off for the climb, she repeatedly expressed her desire to make history, saying, “the discomfort is temporary, but the changes this journey represents will be perennial.”
“From the beginning, my ‘summit’ was my home, my mother and my brothers,” Duarte said. “At the end of the day, it’s about that: surpassing expected results in harmony with the environment in which we find ourselves.”
Duarte became the 5,788th person and the first Black and Latinx woman to climb Mount Everest.
According to Miranda, “travelers were allowed to return to Nepal’s Himalayan peaks in November 2020 after a shutdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening included restrictions such as permits and health checks. A recent coronavirus outbreak on Everest infected at least 100 people.”