Ariana and daughter Molly (aged 2.5 months) meet Molly's contemporaries from the community of Chaullacocha - Anderson (Santusa`s baby) and Milagros (Demecia's baby), looked on by Aunt Francisca and grandmother Lucia
Towards the end of 2010, with an infant daughter and NGO to run, life became very, very hectic. Things like blog posts fell off the radar - only now, some six months later am I beginning to become accostomed to parenthood and can reflect on our work at the end of last year. Much of our work is visual... and as such the posts which I hope to do over the next few weeks will largely consist of photos with brief explanations!
On 30th September, we made a trip to Palqaq, a point on the road from where you access the villages of Chaullacocha and Chupani. With a small baby I didn't feel that we could make the 2 hour hike through the mountains (over a 4300m pass!) to the villages and asked the women to meet us half way. I normally feel that we should travel to the communities, but the women understood the reasoning. So while we left Cusco just after dawn, the women would have started walking at dawn too. We all met in the middle of the mountains for an evaluation and purchase of their most recent weavings.
An evaluation and purchase consists of each item being tagged, photographed, measured and discussed, with each woman being given personalised feedback as to what is good about her weaving, and what might be improved. If the piece meets our increasingly stringent standards, then we purchase it for a fair price.
Secretary of the Chaullacocha Weaver´s association, Demecia Sinchi, takes attendance.
Juana from Chaullacocha shows her weaving, tagged with its ID number.
Eugenia's lamb stole the day for me... including its trip down in car to Ollaytambo to be sold. Eugenia's pasadizo (also in picture) was also a particularly nice one.
In order to save on transport costs we also took enough food for a month's lunchs for the children of the schools and PRONOEIs of Chupani and Chaullacocha. The food supplement program is thanks to the generous donations of Reach Out Children's Foundation.
Food bagged up and ready to be carried to the villages.