Artisan Organization: Luis Banda
"I'm Luis Banda Castañeda, but my friends call me Lucho. I was born in Lima on July 22, 1954. My childhood was spent appreciating the beauty of nature, like the Pacific Ocean with its diversity of colors in its waters, fish, sand, rocks and sunsets. When I began to travel, I'd go to the Andes where I came into contact with the culture of my ancestors, the Inca. Then I visited the Amazon rainforest with its people's different kinds of art. I began collecting handicrafts and jewelry from all these areas.
"I studied economy in the university and then my work took me to Europe where I began to sell Peruvian craftwork. When I returned to Lima, I started a business to import radio transmitters for the communications industry. A few years later, I moved to the United States where I had a furniture store. But two years later when I went back to Peru, I began designing jewelry and then went on to craft everything I see in silver and precious stones.
"Some of my friends tell me I'm a dreamer. I tell them that the only way to create is first to dream. You can even dream while you're awake in order to create something!
"I love nature, and this is why I appreciate handcrafted works made from the earth's gifts, like silver and gemstones. I transform them into original jewelry designs that reflect my Inca heritage.""