Since our Season 2 Launch this January, we have been busy selling, producing, and refining our Awamaki Lab products to bolster support for our Ollanta cooperatives. In February, the Lab team hosted a series of trunk shows across the U.S., connecting with networks of friends and family, and former Awamaki volunteers to facilitate direct-to-customer sales. With the assistance of Awamaki’s U.S. board, we will be expanding this traveling sales model in the coming months to work towards a more cost-effective and lean manufacturing system. We will keep you posted on any upcoming events through our blog!
Those early quarter sales, along with your generous donations, have provided us with the capital needed to delve into capacity building and to begin our first season of production. Season Two designers Andria and Courtney have returned Peru to work alongside Awamaki’s seamstresses and knitters to oversee the completion of S2 orders. Our Women's Cooperartive staff continues to provide great insight into ways we can iterate and amend our program to achieve our mission through thoughtful, collaborative product development. This year, we’ll be developing classic, functional accessories that carefully utilize cooperative members’ skills, to improve communication and integration of our weavers, knitters and seamstresses.
We look forward to keeping you posted on weekly blog updates.
Congratulations to Maritza, Anita, Abigail, Roxana, Ruth, Giovana, Jenny, Silvia, Yesica, Mery, Luz Marina, and Luz Delia!
After completing six months and over 440 hours of intensive training in Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru, last Friday the twelve teachers of the Awamaki Language Center graduated from their training course. We celebrated their hard work and perseverance with a lively party where many people made speeches, recounted memories, and shared hopes for the future. With a lot of laughter and a few tears, we congratulated each of the women for the incredible determination they have demonstrated as well as the way they have supported one another in their path toward becoming Spanish Teachers, and awarded them certificates of achievement. For most, this is the first higher-education course they have completed.
Now, the new teachers are ready to put their training into action in order to begin earning a higher income to support themselves and their children. In the next two weeks, each teacher will begin offering Spanish classes to volunteers and tourists in Ollantaytambo. They will work flexible hours and earn a very competitive wage for their work. This economic opportunity will enable them to fulfill both the important family roles they hold and to improve their families' financial and social well-being.
In this moment of accomplishment, we most of all want to thank each of you who have supported this project. Funding for the training has been raised entirely through the GlobalGiving site. Your generosity has also supported much of the ongoing costs of construction and renovation of the classrooms the teachers use.
As the new teachers begin their classes, we will use the funds raised through this page to continue improving the teacher's classrooms and fund their additional trainings in teaching methods, cooperative management, and life skills. Once the teachers are teaching, they will recieve ongoing support improving their teaching methods and troubleshooting any problems they encounter in the classroom. Next steps include offering the additional trainings they need to successfully manage their teachers' cooperative and finances, including computer and business skills training; and the life skills curriculum Awamaki is developing for all its cooperatives that will help the women improve thier and their families' well-being through trainings in family health, nutrition, parenting, financial savings and other vital skills. This comprehensive approach will allow the women to gain the skills and financial independence they need to provide a better life for themselves and their families.
We thank you for your continued support and we look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.
Thank you for your support of the Mobile Clinic thus far. The project is steadily growing. As of March, we are regularly visiting five rural Andean communities with no other access to health care. We recently hosted a group of visiting doctors and medical students who provided free consultations and medicines to over 400 people in these communities. In May we will host another group focused on women's health.
The mobile clinic project has been so successful, in fact, that it has spurred the creation of another non-profit, Sacred Valley Health. You can find their website here. Awamaki collaborates closely with Sacred Valley Health, and until they join the GlobalGiving community, we are happy to continue this page to support the project.
Below I have attached some pictures from recent visits. Enjoy, and thank you for your support!
Executive Director, Awamaki