Silvia Vasquez-Lavado is a native Peruvian and sexual violence survivor. In October 2005, during a trek to the Base Camp of Mt. Everest, Silvia realized this journey would allow her to rekindle her inner power and heal her spiritually. During her 7 day magical adventure through the Himalayas, Silvia developed an incredible sense of resilience, strength, compassion and more important, the reconnection to her inner courageous girl. Silvia was moved so deeply by the power of Mt. Everest that she made a promise to return one day to attempt to reach the peak.
Silvia began a quest to climb the world’s Seven Summits. She first summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in Oct, 2005; Mt. Elbrus, Russia in Sept, 2006; and she attempted Mt. Denali, Alaska in June, 2012 before turning back due to weather. She set off to climb Mt. Aconcagua, Argentina in Dec, 2013.
Summiting Aconcagua proved to be a life-changing experience for her. The day after coming down from the Summit, Silvia was determined to climb the remaining peaks – before attempting Mt. Everest. She also decided she would not go alone. Instead, she vowed bring four 18-year-old women – all survivors of sexual violence – from the San Francisco Bay Area as well as survivors of sexual violence from Nepal.
Silvia’s own experiences proven so monumental in healing her soul that she was determined to give this opportunity to a very special group of Courageous Girls. Silvia was able to bring survivors of sexual violence to the base of Mt. Everest and was able to witness how these young women found their own courage, developed their own strength and grew in terms of their own healing with their sisters from all around the world.
Silvia became the first Peruvian women to summit Mt. Everest in May 2016 and become the first openly gay women to complete the 7 Summits by summiting Denali on June 2018. Silvia summited Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia and Carstensz Pyramid in the island of Papua, Oceania in March of 2015 and Vinson Massif in Antarctica in December of 2015.
Silvia is currently developing with her Nepali partners the next phase for Courageous Girls. Stay tune to more exciting update to come.