Nélida Cruz Choque, head of the Technical Productive Area of the project “Access to and Improvement of the Economic Income of Quechua and Aymara Artisan Women in Puno” funded by the European Union, along with Saturnina Nina Aruquipa, president of the organization Virgen de Fátima de Ollanta from the province of Azángaro, and Carmen Arocutipa Callacondo, president of the organization Virgen del Rosario from the district of Pomata, travelled from Puno to Lima for the three day fair to show alpaca fiber products made by their artisan companions.
Carmen told us: “We were very well received and we were even shorthanded. We took orders from the very first day…We are well trained and our knit products are able to sell internationally… we are businesswomen and we continue to be when the project has finished. We hope to gain more customers every year and make a name for ourselves. Our products will speak for us.”
Saturnina told us that it is very exciting to participate in the fairs. “Hearing that the garments, accessories and dolls we knit with our needles are beautiful and well-made motivates us to continue to work and grow as women”.
“Our well-made vests, ponchos, sweaters, gloves, and the wide variety of accessories and toys are made from alpaca fiber and a cotton/alpaca blend. Artisan women trained according to strict quality control measures make each garment with care. Last year we did very well and sales were high. This year we continue to do well: we have been able to surpass last year´s numbers”, stated Nélida Cruz.
Further, she pointed out that experience is gained with each fair, “we get to know our target market and their needs and we also improve our customer service skills. These activities also boost the artisan women´s self-confidence and make them feel part of the family economy”.
The women who participated in the fair have committed to sharing their experiences in order to take care of and adequately meet clients’ needs. Further, the women’s active participation motivates them to continue to work and also stimulated personal growth.
Income obtained at the fair will help them to continue to produce, acquire more raw materials and continue to grow as a business.