Mercedes Durand Zamalloa

Head of Women's Artisan Cooperatives


HOMETOWN: Urubamba, Peru

BACKGROUND: Mercedes grew up in the town of Urubamba, about 20 minutes away from Ollantaytambo. She is the Head of Women’s Artisan Cooperatives at Awamaki and is in charge of leading most of our workshops in Quechua or Spanish. As a young girl, Mercedes had been taught that she needed to take care of men throughout her life. She and her sister decided that they did not agree with this idea and have been fighting against it ever since. Mercedes loves getting the chance to interact with our artisans when they come to the office or when she goes up to the communities. She also enjoys interacting with new communities who are interested in partnering with us and figuring out how we can work together.


FAVORITE PLACE TO VISIT IN PERU: The high Andean communities

FAVORITE THING ABOUT AWAMAKI: Teaching and training the women