Lydia Estes joins Threads of Peru between semesters during her study abroad year. "Growing up around strong and creative women partly influenced my enthusiasm about all things female empowerment, bridging cultures through art, and sustainable and fair-trade fashion, as well. When I learned about Threads of Peru, I was convinced it perfectly blended my focuses and would provide a distinct perspective on the topic compared to what I’ve found so far in the Southern Cone."
Threads of Peru Blog
My first invitation to visit a community that Threads of Peru works with came a couple of weeks after I started volunteering two mornings a week in the Cusco office.
The visit quickly disabused me of any notions I had had of how the textiles are made. I suppose I had thought, not very thoughtfully, that the process would be a more rustic version of a western association of weaving hobbyists. It is much more complicated and intricate than that.
It all started over a beer at a fund-raiser in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, near Cusco.
That afternoon, all the micro-brewery’s profits went in support of the non-profit, Threads of Peru. When I met the organization’s director of operations, Dana, a sassy young anthropologist who works with local weavers, I asked if I could volunteer. (I’d been keeping an eye out for volunteer work involving textiles and supporting women.)