When María del Carmen Tun Cho lined up at the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday, she sent a strong message. The woman – who belongs to the Q’eqchi’ Maya Indigenous group and wore a huipil and caites and wrapped herself in the Guatemalan flag – ran to demand the rights of women.

The 46-year-old mother of six started running three years ago and running for her cause has taken her to races in Spain and all over Guatemala. At the Los Angeles marathon, she was one of 25,000 people running, but she made history as the first Guatemalan woman of Maya heritage to participate in the 34th edition of the race. That feat alone made her feel like a winner.

“For me, participating is already a triumph because I have been able to show that a woman can do many things if she wants to,” she told EFE. “Women have a lot to give, and our age, race, or if we’re from the country or the city shouldn’t factor into that.”

She finished the race in 4:47:22. She placed 6,919 overall and 1,905 in the women’s division.