Awamaki

Awamaki collaborates with the greater Ollantaytambo community to create economic opportunities and improve social well-being.
Dec 30, 2013

Happy New Year from Justa

Justa and Efrain in the office
Justa and Efrain in the office

Justa is a lady with gumption. She is from the community of Rumira, a half hour from Ollantaytambo. Before working with Awamaki, Justa did everything she could to provide for her son, Efraim, 4. She sold knit goods in the plaza of Ollantaytambo to bring in a little money. She even worked as a transportista, or combi driver, which is unheard of for a woman. Transportistas drive the small vans that careen down Peru's highways, stuffed to the brim with people, animals and goods, charging about 1.5 soles, or 40 cents, for a half-hour trip. 

Justa now works as a seamstress with Awamaki. She takes the weavings made by women in Awamaki's weaving cooperative and sews iPad cases, tote bags and mini skirts for sale in the U.S. In her time at Awamaki, she has learned skills in sewing, pattern-making, and design.

Justa says her work with Awamaki is much more dependable than that as a transportista, and she can bring her son to work when she needs to. Justa can often be found at the office at five in the morning, getting a head start on her day's work so she can be home with Efrain during the day. "Now that I have steady work, I can give a better life to my son," she says. She is saving money from her wages to put towards his future education.  

Whether it's food, health care or schooling, Justa knows what Efraim needs. Your donation allows us to teach her the skills required for her to earn money to meet those needs. In 2014, we aim to add 20 more women to our programs. We also aim to begin administration training with them so that they can progress towards being successful, independent business women.

Your donations fund this skills empowerment. As we build these skills, we can increasingly connect women to market opportunities so that they can earn income. The women do the rest. They invest in their families's nutrition, in their kids' education, in concrete floors and warm clothes for the cold Andean winter. They tranform their communities and lift their families out of poverty, woman by woman, household by household. 

Please contribute to Awamaki today and give a sustainable, prosperous future to Justa and more women like her.

Thank you so much and best wishes for a new year!

Justa at work
Justa at work
Dec 30, 2013

Happy New Year from Jenny

Jenny
Jenny

Jenny is a Spanish teacher with Awamaki. She has a high school education and grew up in a farming family, without the resources for higher education. Her husband Moises works in the tourism sector in a low-paying job.  When she became pregnant with her daughter several years ago, she knew she had to find a way to give her daughter the best life possible. 

Two years ago, Jenny signed up with our brand-new Spanish teachers' program. She came every day to six months of training, thanks the childcare provided by your donations to this project. Now, Jenny teaches Spanish several hours per week, earning a high enough wage that she can still spend plenty of time with her daughter, Bianca. Jenny loves her job and is a gifted instructor. Her students expose her to different cultures and new ideas, while she teaches them Spanish grammar and practices conversation with them. "I learn more every day from my students," she says. 

Jenny and Moises have purchased a small piece of land and this month, they are starting construction on their own small home with Jenny's savings from teaching Spanish. They are so excited to be building a home in which to raise their family. 

Whether it's food, schooling or a place to live, Jenny knows what Bianca needs. Donations allow us to teach her the skills required for her to earn money to meet those needs. In 2014, we aim to teach the Spanish teachers to teach Quechua, so that they can access more students and increase their teaching hours. We also aim to begin administration training with them so that they can progress towards being successful, independent business women.

Your donations fund this skills empowerment. As we build these skills, we can increasingly connect women to market opportunities so that they can earn income. The women do the rest. They invest in their families's nutrition, in their kids' education, in concrete floors and warm clothes for the cold Andean winter. They tranform their communities and lift their families out of poverty, woman by woman, household by household. 

Please contribute to Awamaki today and give a sustainable, prosperous future to Jenny and more women like her.

Thank you so much and best wishes for a new year!

Dec 3, 2013

Thank you and a video from Awamaki

Weavers attend conference in Cusco
Weavers attend conference in Cusco

Dear donors, 

This year at Awamaki, we are thankful for you. You provide us the funds to give women the skills and opportunity to earn an income and lift their families out of poverty. You believe in us and you invest in our women and their potential. Thanks to you, this year we have: 

  • Provided high-quality skills training enabling our knitters to produce knitwear that is internationally desirable
  • Helped our knitters, weavers and seamstresses sell their products to global retailers (from Zappos to ABC Carpet to mom-and-pop fair trade stores all over the U.S.) and through our brand new online store!
  • Run out of knitwear and thus added a new knitting cooperative of 20 women!
  • Helped our spinners purchase spinning machines so they can spin more and better yarn for international markets, and run trainings on how to produce those yarns
  • Hosted two volunteer designers to work alongside our seamstresses and together design new products that combine our woven textiles with locally-made leather for next years' collections
  • Sent teams of staff and volunteers into the field to conduct surveys, interviews and focus groups with all the women with whom we work so that we can better understand their household economies, serve their needs, and help them meet their financial goals.

We couldn't do this without you, and that's why we made this thank you video

Thank you, and have a wonderful holiday season!

Volunteer designers at work in studio
Volunteer designers at work in studio
Online store goes live!
Online store goes live!

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