AWANA LLAQTA COOPERATIVE
They greeted us with cups of traditional coca tea and wool shawls to fend off the high altitude mountain air. Llamas and alpacas wandered around as we explored stacks of blankets, rugs, and sweaters we had stumbled upon along a back road in Chincherro, Peru. An hour outside the bustling city center of Cusco, the Awana Llaqta Group masterfully weaves their organic textiles with the techniques passed down by their ancestors dating as far back as 8,000 BC. This time-honored craft is very much still the same. Wool and alpaca are sheared from their livestock, organically cleaned using local roots and plants, spun into yarn, and dyed with plants and flowers from the Andes. The yarn is woven into textile panels bearing symbols significant to the Andean worldview of the world and their connection to it.
Vibrant representations of their heritage and skill, the textiles made by Llano Awana are the group members’ primary source of income. Yet the market in Chincherro is small and the trip to larger Cusco markets is impossible with the rest of their childcare, livestock, and household responsibilities. We’re proud to partner with these weavers, opening up the global marketplace to them as a platform to generate income through the work of their hands that is steady, dignified, and empowering.
We believe the passing down of Andean weaving heritage and education go hand in hand, equipping the next generation of artisans as insightful entrepreneurs. In addition to paying above fair wages for their work, we invest 10% every Llano Awana sale to academic scholarships for the artisans’ children.