Capacity-building for rural women artisans in Peru

by Awamaki
Feb 4, 2013

Training Dyes Experts

Bringing firewood
Bringing firewood

Awamaki works with nearly 60 indigenous weavers. For several years we have regularly run natural dyes workshops with them so they can retain traditional techniques and increase the market value of their weavings.  A local weaving expert leads the workshops, which are funded in part by donations to this GlobalGiving project.

Since we began holding the workshops, the weavers' dyeing expertise has increased, but as our project grows, we have increasingly specific dyeing needs. For example, in order to accept many international orders, the cooperative must be able to guarantee certain color shades or combinations. Plant, fungus and insect dyes are an important part of the weavers' tradition, but by nature they are imprecise in their fidelity to exact color shades.  Dyeing expertise is an increasingly necessary skill in order to link weavers to international markets.

Responding to the increasing demands of these markets, in November Awamaki held extra, more intensive natural dyes training for six weavers who had volunteered to become dyes experts. In the future they can take charge of leading dye workshops for the whole cooperative, rather than relying on an outside teacher to lead them.

The weavers' new expertise will also allow the cooperative to offer dyes workshops to tourists through Awamaki's tourism offerings. Tourists will be able to stay in the community in the home of one of the weavers, and learn to spin, dye and weave.

This is an exciting step towards greater cooperative autonomy, and will translate directly into increased income for the women. Moreover, running workshops internally will save Awamaki funds to invest in other skills that will allow our female artisans to continue creating unique, fashionable goods for international markets.

Learning about dye plants
Learning about dye plants
Natural dyes color swatches
Natural dyes color swatches
Magdalena and son
Magdalena and son
Purple from cochineal
Purple from cochineal
Watching the action
Watching the action



About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information


Location: Ollantaytambo, Cusco - Peru
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Mary Kennedy Leavens
Ollantaytambo, Cusco Peru
$20,032 raised of $24,000 goal
375 donations
$3,968 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. Learn more.
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.