Empowering Women Through Design in Rural Peru



Awamaki Lab aims to empower and provide a stable source of income for indigenous women weavers and mothers in Ollantaytambo through a fashion design collective that promotes fair-trade ethics.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Economic opportunities for women in Ollantaytambo, Peru are limited, do not pay well, and are based exclusively on a tenuous tourism market. Single mothers work tirelessly to support and care for their children. They have limited professional mobility and often suffer from depression without an outlet for creative self-expression. Impoverished Quechua women weavers are equally strained and struggle to make an income during rainy season when they cannot sell their textiles to tourists.

How will this project solve this problem?

Awamaki Lab is a fashion design residency that both supports Quechua weavers by creating new sales channels for their textiles, and helps to finance a sewing and design collective in Ollantaytambo to create a sustainable enterprise for local women.

Potential Long Term Impact

Working with a fashion designer and design professor to create garments using Andean textiles enables Ollanta women to leave the home and develop the professional skills and self-esteem needed for long-term economic growth and social transformation.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $12,363
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $5,637
Total Funding Goal: $18,000

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


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Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru

Project Leader

Mary Kennedy Leavens

Ollantaytambo, Cusco Peru

Where is this project located?

Map of Empowering Women Through Design in Rural Peru
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