Lowriders, skinny eyebrows, winged eyeliner, Dickies, and Ben Davis. East Los Angeles, El Paso’s Segundo Barrio, the Southwest, and San Francisco’s Mission District. There is a certain aesthetic and lifestyle that comes to mind when you hear the word “cholo” or “chola.” But the term goes back centuries to Spain and means different things to different people across Latinx nations. In an effort to evolve what we associate with terms we have always known in our culture and expand our understanding of them, we want to unpack what “cholo” actually means.
We’re going as far back as possible to where the word cholo actually came from, understand what it has really meant over the centuries, and how it has been used to identify groups of Indigenous and Latinx people til this very day.