Project Coordinator and Sales Consultant, Cusco, Peru
Ligia Gomez, originally from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala joined Threads of Peru in December 2016. She brings with her years of experience working with artisan groups and learning about traditional textiles in her home country, focusing her work and skills on quality control, customer service and artisan relations.
After working with two different organizations, her commitment to support the preservation of traditions and cultures has only increased. This brings her to Peru, with the desire to learn and experience a new culture by its ancestral weaving techniques.
Ligia identifies herself as Maya K’iche, one of the largest Indigenous communities of Guatemala. This has allowed her to understand and witness firsthand the challenges that hers and many other cultures are facing. She believes that people have in their hands a great opportunity to learn about where their everyday clothing comes from and who is making it. For her, Threads of Peru represents a great example of this process in action, informing a large audience about traditional Quechua weaving.
Ligia holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and International Trade, is native Spanish speaker with fluent English and is currently taking her first steps towards a third language, French! She hopes to be a good addition to the Threads of Peru team.
Executive Board, Cusco, Peru
Dana Blair joined the Threads of Peru team in 2013 with years of experience studying and traveling throughout South America. Having graduated from Pennsylvania State University in May 2012, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and History, disciplines that have allowed her to indulge and expand upon her interest in sustainable development and indigenous heritage in Latin America. Before taking up residence in Cusco, her travels included six months studying International Relations in São Paulo, Brazil, pioneering research on traditional ceramics-making in Bahian Recôncavo, Brazil and working as a field research assistant at the Chavín de Huantar archaeological site in the state of Ancash, Peru.
Dana deeply shares the values embodied in the work done by Threads of Peru and is thrilled to be part of this life-changing project. For sustainable, and more importantly, equitable development to happen, it must begin with the infrastructure already in place. Her work in Peru taught her that the ingenuity and master craftsmanship of Peruvian artisans are the building blocks. All that was lacking were resources and a few bright minds. In providing and developing those resources, Dana is motivated by her strong belief that we can achieve sustainable growth in Peru without having to leave behind its vibrant cultural heritage.
Lourdes Hancco Chaucca
Community Liaison and Production Assistant, Cusco, Peru
Lourdes Hancco Chaucca is from the community of Huchuy Qosqo, in the Lamay district of the Sacred Valley of Cusco. Joining our team in April 2015, she is excited to work with Threads of Peru because she loves traditional textiles and it was one of her dreams to learn to export. A proud, native Quechua speaker, she learned to knit from her mother, who is a lifelong weaver herself. With a degree in Business Administration from the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco, Lourdes has worked with the Municipality of Lamay as a promoter of social development in textiles. She says that thanks to this job, she knows the biodiversity of textile traditions, different lifestyles, and the unique talent of each of the weavers in textile production. Lourdes is also studying for her Masters in Public Administration on the weekends, and studies English in the afternoons, returning home to Lamay each weekend after class to help her family. At Threads of Peru, Lourdes is learning about the export process, evaluation of quality and logistics, and is exploring related subjects that motivate her to participate in the international market.
Executive Board, Victoria, Canada
After completing her Master’s degree in Art Conservation in 2006, Sarah travelled to Peru for the first time, where the culture, the people – and especially the textiles – ignited her passion. She has been returning to Peru on an annual basis ever since. She has travelled extensively throughout the country as well as the rest of South America, and has worked and volunteered with a number of organizations dedicated to the revitalization of traditional Quechua weaving. She has also delivered lectures and workshops on Peruvian textiles and conservation in Canada, Peru, and Mexico.
Sarah first joined Threads in 2012, bringing with her extensive knowledge of the traditional weaving process and familiarity with the Quechua lifestyle and customs. She quickly became equally passionate about Threads’ model: artisans in remote, indigenous communities being given an opportunity to earn income while maintaining their traditional lifestyle and strengthening their culture. It’s a win-win for them, and also for the global community. Sarah has spent many days and nights in remote Quechua villages and is constantly amazed and inspired by the weavers that Threads works with, as well as the beauty of the Andean landscape. When not roaming the Andes, Sarah resides in Victoria, where she also studies Law at the University of Victoria.
Weaving Instructor and Master Weaver, Cusco, Peru
Daniel Sonqo (sonqo meaning ¨heart¨ in Quechua) is an experienced weaver from the community of Parobamba, high up in the mountains in an area referred to in Spanish as the “eyebrows of the jungle”. Daniel is an invaluable guide to the Threads team, providing insight into cultural norms and assisting with weaving workshops. Daniel has been weaving since childhood and attributes his early interest in the art of weaving to his mother. He began to sell his work in 1990 after the political climate in Peru became more stable. His textiles are highly regarded and well known in the Cusco region, as well as being featured in our Master Weaver collection. Daniel says that he tries to conduct all of his work with honor and to improve the weaving techniques in high Andean communities. That commitment is most evident within the Sonqo family! His wife, Leonarda, is an awe-inspiring artisan herself, and their 4 sons often help with spinning, warping, and weaving. Daniel is passionate about natural dyeing techniques and hopes to one day share his knowledge by writing a book.
Co-Founder, Halifax, Canada
Angie is a Canadian, living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Design Degree from NSCAD University, and her passion for design and social issues was key to the development of Threads of Peru. She believes that communication design and marketing play important roles in the empowerment of rural artisans of Peru. Angie is a lover of slow, ethical fashion and design, and helping to promote the timeless works of Andean weavers is very fulfilling work for her. Angie handles much of the communication design work for Threads of Peru and is also the creative director for a leading e-commerce company in Atlantic Canada.
West Australian, Ariana has been associated with Peru for over a decade and is director of the responsible trekking company, Apus Peru Adventure Travel Specialists. She has also been involved in social projects in the Patacancha Valley since 2005, experiences that are forming the basis for her Masters of Arts thesis with a focus on International Development. Now living back in Australia, Ariana works tirelessly as the overall director and marketing consultant for Threads of Peru. When visiting in Cusco, she is welcomed like family and as the driving force behind this project that provides sustainable work to 150+ indigenous artisans. She is also the proud mother of two young children, Molly and Lucas.