Monday, December 21, 2015

Knitting Nations

You would think that the idea of working with knitters in Peru would be a little like the old expression "Bringing coals to Newcastle" yet November found me in Lima providing technical assistance for three knitting groups on behalf of Partners for Just Trade through their Peruvian partner organization Bridge of Hope.  Daniela, my intrepid companion, translator, and BOH guide, arranged our visits to the groups, two of which were south of Lima and the third in Huancavalica in the Andes at 12,500 feet.
Ima Sumacc and the outlier...
Working with Kuichi member

 Knitting machines in Peru provide opportunities for income generation (while here they lie mostly unused under beds). 
The group El Mecurio (named after the the historic mercury mine that was founded in 1530 and still dominates the economy and society of the Santa Barbara community, the birthplace of many of the group’s members) works out of a one room dirt floor workshop in Huancavalica.

El Mercurio
In the workshop


The main square in Huancavalica

Market Goodies...who can resist?

Museums, ruins and a visit to Ica occupied free time, which also included a visit to the Paracas Reserve and Islas Ballestas, known as the poor man's Galapagos. 

Huaca Pucllana in the heart of Miraflores in Lima

Paracas Reserve
Islas Ballestas
And finally...may we have a more peaceful year in 2016!