ArtAndes Blog

The latest Andean visit

Posted April 22, 2023 @ 9:00am | by Melanie

I just got back from a month in Peru & Ecuador, a land I love and know well. There have been a lot of changes during covid and then the intense political unrest in Peru that shut the country down from Dec - April. The Cusco & Puno areas could take many more months to recover from the complete loss of tourism. 

The one thing I could do in Cusco, to make a small difference, was invest in the fine textiles from the  Centro Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco. I’ve worked closely with this impressive weaving non-profit for 22 years. They have grown from one community to ten, which now includes over 600 weavers. Their goal to preserve craft and culture has been very successful, I don’t know of another group in the America’s that has been able to achieve what they have. 

A part of their success has been their ability to capture the attention of the Cusco/ Machu Picchu tourist market. Chinchero is where it started, an Incan citadel on the tourist path. When the political protests started,(the aftermath still continues) peoples lives have been economically shattered & very sadly there has been lives lost.

Over the years of bringing culture focused groups to Peru, the weavers of Chinchero & the textiles of CTTC have been a memorable highlight for all. The fine folks I’ve brought to Peru have fortunately become friends I’ve remained in touch with, & their interest in Peru textiles hasn’t faded. So I could confidently invest in a project to spark some work for them, I just brought back the most beautiful  collection of pillows, ponchos, scarves, throws & placemats.  I also did a video shopping meetup with Kathy Killip who was on a past trip. Kathy has a seasonal gallery in Colorado, she generously will be featuring their textiles!

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