The Awamaki Weaving Project works with impoverished Quechua women weavers to improve their skills and increase their access to market, thereby revitalizing an endangered weaving tradition while affording Quechua women with a reliable source of income. We operate on fair trade principles and buy directly from weavers at a price that is mutually negotiated, thus setting a standard for fair pricing in the region. We then sell these textiles at our volunteer-operated fair trade store in Ollantaytambo.
Profits that are made through the sale of weavings are reinvested back into the project and the community, providing educational support to school-age weavers, allowing us to maintain an emergency medical expenses fund for the women and their children, and funding capacity-building workshops and field-trips for the weavers. Through Awamaki, the weavers have a consistent source of income that enables them to better care for their families’ needs, as well as affording them a higher degree of financial independence. Textile sales also cover the regular operating costs of the project, leaving us fully self-funded, sustainable and independent.
The goals of the Awamaki Weaving Project are to:
- revitalize the endangered weaving tradition by giving market access to rural weavers
- create a place for Andean weaving in a new modernizing economy by marketing textiles to tourists and seeking international avenues of sale
- recuperate and develop further technical knowledge of natural dyes and the weaving process
- improve the well-being of the weavers, their families and their communities
The Awamaki Weaving Project operates a volunteer-operated fair trade store in Ollantaytambo, and a weaving center in the central Quechua community of Patacancha. The weaving center was built by the weavers and their family members in a traditional work party faena, in partnership with Awamaki, which provided materials and volunteer labor. The center serves as a place for the weavers to meet and weave, a place to hold workshops, and a visiting center for student and tourist groups.
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