At Awamaki we believe that income directly in the hands of women and families is the most effective and sustainable tool for community development and improved well-being. To meet this goal, Awamaki strives to create an integrated program portfolio to support three key, ongoing projects: Women’s Artisanal Cooperatives, Sustainable Tourism and Community Education.
Women’s Artisanal Cooperatives
We partner with Women’s Cooperatives to provide training and market access.
The objective of our efforts is to provide women with a reliable source of income so they can increase their families’ quality of life and well-being.
Our partner cooperatives weave, knit, spin and sew. We offer trainings in quality control, product development and technical skills improvement. In our trainings, we teach
- color combination, natural dyes methods and weaving to measurement to weavers
- fiber selection and spinning yarn to specified weights to spinners
- stitching and reading patterns to knitters
- sewing, garment pattern-making and design to seamstresses
The Awamaki Lab
The Awamaki Lab initiative brings international designers to collaborate with our artisans. Together, they develop market-ready products with increased added value, and link artisan cooperatives in a supply chain. For example, they develop patterns for accessories, incorporating traditional woven pieces made by the weaving cooperative and sewn into clutches or purses by the sewing cooperative. The resulting products have greater value than the woven pieces alone, enabling the artisans to earn more for their work and sell a higher volume.
In addition to trainings, Awamaki facilitates market access for the women’s products. We operate a store in Ollantaytambo for the sale of products to tourists. We sell in the United States through our online store, trunk shows hosted by supporters, and partner retailers.
Sustainable Tourism includes a homestay association, a Spanish teachers’ cooperative, and market access for both. It also includes community cultural tourism excursions to visit Awamaki’s weaving cooperatives where products can be purchased directly.
Our Sustainable Tourism project connects rural women with the economic opportunities that tourism offers. They lead meaningful cultural experiences for tourists and promote appreciation of Andean traditions and ways of life.
Community Education offers English, computer, business and leadership skills to participants in our Women’s Cooperatives and Sustainable Tourism projects, and to local community members.
We design classes and workshops for our artisan and tourism cooperatives that enable them to run successful businesses. We also provide training in leadership, self-esteem and personal development.
We also offer English and computer classes to local tourism workers and business owners.
Classes and workshops are designed to foster the skills each person needs to gain increased income and advantage in tourism and international markets and supplement their skills to increase well-being.