The Awamaki Women's Cooperative Program will provide capacity-building workshops to five different groups of women weavers, knitters, spinners and seamstresses. The women will receive trainings in product development, design, natural dye techniques, quality control and administration; an education that will empower them to create products of a standard suitable for export and thereby decrease their dependency on an over-saturated and seasonal tourism market.
Economic opportunities for women in Peru's Sacred Valley are limited, do not pay well, and are based exclusively on a tenuous and seasonal tourism market. Moreover, local artisans must battle against a market increasingly saturated with cheap, mass-produced souvenirs, where the cultural tradition and rare quality of hand-made goods are too often under-valued. Women with little secondary education and limited professional mobility face few opportunities to overcome these issues.
Awamaki meets with groups of weavers, spinners, knitters and seamstresses on a regular basis, providing capacity-building workshops and trainings in product development, quality control, natural dye techniques and administration. In 2012 our focus is on standardizing many of our products in order that they meet international export standards, offering our artisans the opportunity to secure more avenues of sale and reduce their reliance on the tourism market.
Through their participation in the Womens' Cooperatives Program, women artisans have access to professional guidance and education that they can utilize to improve their product. Ultimately they gain a sustainable source of income that enables them to better care for their families' needs, as well as affording them a great degree of financial independence.
My family is one of about 25 that lost their homes in the floods of January 2010. Awamaki's knitting project is teaching us skills that we can use to rebuild our lives. - Mariza Baca Espinoza, Awamaki knitter
Total Funding Received to Date: $2,998
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $5,002
Total Funding Goal: $8,000