Looking down on Cusco from one of the many nearby hills.
First, a very big hello to all the fans, customers, supporters, family, and friends who follow this blog and love Threads of Peru. My name is Isaiah Brookshire. For the next few months you will be hearing a lot from me as I explore the area around Cusco and learn more about the incredible weaving culture Threads of Peru supports. All the stories that come out of those adventures will end up right here, on this blog.
I’ll also be manning Threads’ Facebook and Twitter pages where you will find plenty of updates and interesting facts about the organization. Watch for compelling photos, stories of Peruvian culture, and of course a look at the amazing weavers who make our products. But before I start digging into the wonder of the Andes, I want to tell you a little bit about myself. An introduction
Yep, that's me, eating a plate of what may be "cuy" (aka guinea pig) in Cusco's Plaza de San Francisco.
My wife and I arrived in Cusco just over a week ago and we are still getting adjusted to Peruvian life, not to mention the altitude here at 11,000 feet above sea level. For someone who has called California’s Central Coast home for most of his life, the change was — quite literally — breathtaking.
I am by training a political scientist, by trade a journalist, and by hobby a visual arts geek. On my business cards I call myself a “Globally Focused Multimedia Storyteller,” a title purposely vague enough to allow me the freedom to pursue all my professional interests including photography, writing, video, and design. Even though my methods and media vary, I always strive to tell good and meaningful stories.
I firmly believe that storytelling is one of the most fundamental parts of our humanity. I can think of few ways to better create understanding and bring people together than the mutual sharing of stories.
I’m also a chronic sufferer of that not-unhappy malady commonly know as the “travel bug.” I grew up traveling the Western United States and Canada on weeks-long road trips with my family. When I was 17, I took my first big international trip to Africa where I documented the efforts of a water well drilling team in Zambia. My travels have taken me through most of Western Europe, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Thailand, and now to Peru.
I plan to spend several months here in Cusco working with Threads of Peru and telling the stories behind the cloth. While learning all I can about Peruvian culture, I also plan to spend much of my time studying Spanish and working towards fluency.
I’m sure there’s a lot more to tell but I won’t bore you with the details. If you would like to find out more about me, you can visit my website: www.isaiahbrookshire.com.
Why I’m working with Threads of Peru
I want to close by telling you why I chose to volunteer with Threads of Peru. I made this decision because at a very deep level, I believe in how Threads works. When it comes to addressing issues like poverty, I don’t think throwing money at people is the solution. What Threads is doing, giving people an opportunity to support themselves through weaving and teaching people how better their craft, is the right way to move forward.
Sustainable development — development that engages the people you want to help — is really the only way the cycle of poverty can be broken. From what little I’ve learned of the Andean people, their hardy resilience to a harsh climate, their vibrant and musical culture, and their love of the stunning land they call home, I’m optimistic that the economic tools we share with them won’t go to waste and as their beautiful products leave the high mountains of Peru and travel to you, I’m confident we will all benefit.