Today, 41-year-old Silvia Vásquez-Lavado became the first Peruvian woman to reach the peak of Mt. Everest. She traveled alongside 150 mountaineers, according to El Nuevo Herald. The mountain holds a special place for Vásquez-Lavado, who endured sexual abuse between the ages of 6 and 9. In 2005, she trekked to the Mt. Everest Base and started to heal, according to Fortune. However, she didn’t summit the mountain then, but at that moment, she promised herself she’d get to the top.
By 2006, Vásquez-Lavado, who lives in the United States, summited Kilimanjaro. In 2007, she climbed Mt. Elbrus, and in 2014, she made it to the top of Argentina’s Aconcagua. Today, she fulfilled her decade-long dream by conquering Everest.
Trekking has become an important part of her recovery, and in 2014, she started Courageous Girls – a non-profit group to help victims of sexual abuse through mountaineering. “I decided to turn survivors into empowered people by helping them find that inner strength within themselves,” she told Fortune. “It is so hard to do with so much shame inside of you.”