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Los Mochicas Cooperative

Artisan Organization: Los Mochicas Cooperative

Country: Peru

"We have lived through very difficult times, especially the pandemic, which was the hardest experience we have had so far. We have lost family and friends; we had to stay home for fear of catching it. We stopped selling our crafts that were our main livelihood for the family. However, we did not stop working with our fibers. The work gave us distraction and inspiration to continue forward, despite not having sales.

"The biggest challenge is dedication and love for what we do. We would go out to fairs and markets to sell our art, leaving our families for a few days. When they see us so passionate about our art and our love for our legacy, they understand why we are so intensely dedicated. Another challenge is the lack of support from our government. Unfortunately, we have had to get ahead on our own and, of that, we are extremely proud. The opportunity that we appreciate from this pandemic is to adapt more to technology and new consumer trends.

"Our goal, hope and dreams for the future are to form a great group, so that our work sells both nationally and internationally. And to keep growing together renewing ourselves and innovating in design.

"Through learning how to weave a palma macora straw hat, typical in our region of northern Peru, we have adapted this wonderful technique to different types of items such as key rings, purses and cases, experimenting with the application of this technique to new designs. We make each piece with passion and love for our culture and clients.

"Our learning was always collective. Thanks to the support of a designer, we have applied our techniques to different types of handmade articles. Now, we teach in schools, on social media and with our families. We have achieved everything thanks to the willingness to learn, and the desire and love of art.

"The palma macora fiber is a very versatile and generous material. We buy it in kilos and, depending on the design, we dye it with different pigments. What we like the most is how the designs turn out and the value that our shoppers give it. That is why every day we strive to do it much better, so you will feel even more satisfied. We are inspired by our surroundings, the colors in nature, our culture and community.

"Going forward as an artisan group is complicated. But thanks to the unconditional support of our family members, we have moved forward and we have the most important alliance, our family. We want to inspire and to transmit the love of colors, crafts and our millenary knitting culture. We are an important source of work in our community and thus, we spread history and identity. We also contribute to tourism, and that makes us very happy.""