A Sense of Place
Peru has been under a state of emergency for the entire month of December, due to the high number of conflicts following the arrest of their President, Pedro Castillo. This measure limits travel and suspends the right to gather, but in spite of these harsh restrictions, our artisan partners at Mothers In Action (MIA) have still been able to work from their homes, producing the beautiful alpaca wool garments that you love.
In 2022, the Ibu Foundation funded a new workshop for this group of artisans, and I recently received happy news from the MIA Cooperative Leader, Hans Valdez Durand, letting us know that Christmas day was a nice celebration for the women—many of the families that lived nearby the space were able to come together and see one another, while also sharing the garments that they have been working on from their homes.
Hans writes that this new workshop has made a world of difference for the 250 Peruvian artisans that work for MIA. The new work space has allowed for an increase in the level of production and efficiency, and by providing a storage space for their wool, garments, and samples, has led to improved organization and accessibility. Two of the leaders, Delfina and Nelly, report that their jobs have become much better because the artisans can pick up materials and drop off completed products at the workshop, whereas before, the artisans relied on Delfina and Nelly to do all of the couriering of supplies and finished products.
Nelly Lolo, a knitter and artisan leader says, It is a blessing to have this support from the Ibu Foundation, especially during these difficult times. Our work will be easier, and we will be able to knit more beautiful designs. Another knitter named Olga Chocca shared, I used to knit sometimes from my home alone, but now I can come here with more light, space, and facilities to bring my little kid with me, too.
I love hearing about the increased community being built among these women. Hans told me, This new space is a place where the women gather to laugh and chat while they are knitting by hand. Actually, it's amazing how the feelings of our mothers affect the construction of each piece. If they are happy, the knits are really nice and soft, and if they are stressed out, you can see the knits are a bit more tense. Now, we can see a lot of more happy knits and this is really amazing.
In the midst of this state of emergency in Peru, it's uplifting emails like this that remind us of the difference that is being made. Your financial support does more than you know, and it's safe to say that many happy knits are being made because you.
Director of Artisan Projects