Monday, December 17, 2012

Ccorca talent quest with the Amantani team

On the 7th of December we had the opportunity to visit Ccorca, Peru to attend a Talent Quest put on by the village for the children of the area with the goal of providing an opportunity for the children to express themselves through song, poetry, crafts and photography.

 We were picked up by the incredibly welcoming and informative Teresa from non-profit organization, Amantani, who filled us in on the problems facing the area of Cusco and the children that live there. Amantani is focused on providing housing for children that have to walk up to 8 hours a day to attend school, one of the major issues the locals are faced with. It was a bumpy one-hour drive through breath-taking scenery, taking us above 3300 meter high Cusco and into the heart of the Andes. Beautiful children were spotted between long grass after we had passed the last humble housings constructed mainly of recycled elements. Our questions regarding the origins of these building elements were quickly answered when Teresa explained that waist management for the whole Cusco area consisted of a mountain of garbage! Unfortunately it happened to be on our path and even though it was made quite a colourful addition to the landscape the reality was quite devastating. There hadn’t even been a hole dug in the ground and the colossal mound was starting to overflow down the mountainside.

Not wanting to dwell on the negative we continued our journey and Teresa pointed out half covered Inca trails and Potato and Choclo crops beautifully integrated into the mountains (the Inca’s philosophy was to decorate the landscape through farming rather than damaging it). As we descending into the town of Ccorca on a dirt track we were blown away by the stunning cliffs that surround the town. Upon arriving we were taken directly to the first home called Illapas (ray of light), which accommodates 21 children from the age of 3 to 5. It was very cute with a colourful Mural and mini kitchen. Here Marleny, Mariza and Tania (the girls that run the centres) explained how the day panned out for the kids, their time divided between school, chores and extra activities.  We then went to check out the other two centres chaskas (stars) accommodating 19 girls from the age of 6-12 and finally the Tikas boarding house catering for 17 of the oldest children from the age of 12 through to 17. At each centre one of the gorgeous children showed us around and explained how it all worked from cooking through to cleaning, to school and the highlight, the circulo: where the individuals can share anything they like from the day in hand.

 Now it was time to hit the Talent quest. We arrived and the local towns people were piling in on packed trucks and anything else that moved faster than their own feet. There was everything from young girls holding small lambs, to shaggy dogs and of course the locals in their stunning outfits. We visited the Amantani stands and couldn’t believe the quality of the products the children had made, with everything from candles to bracelets to Christmas cards. We both went about doing our Christmas shopping while simultaneously donating to a great cause. Unfortunately only an hour in to the song and poetry contest the skies went from blue to grey and it started pouring rain. This rain then quickly turned into hail and everybody ran for cover. The rain didn’t let up for about two hours but despite the cold and damp the smiles kept coming and nobody seemed phased in the slightest. When the skies finally cleared the talent quest started up as though nothing had happened. 

It was an incredibly inspiring day and we would like to thank all the Amantani team that were so generous with their time. We have plans for a collaboration with Amantani and will keep you all posted once things are finalized. Part of the reason for the trip was to get a deeper insight into their philosophy and way of working. Amantani is overflowing with creative freedom in our eyes which is why we want to team up with them and their wonderful children in the near future. We believe in their cause and want to help them achieve their goals.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Peruvian Inspiration

patternsAlli de GallinaCollage in a boxChoclo Variations

Peruvian Inspiration, a set on Flickr.

Peruvian Manufacturing

local Lima Manufacturersmiling sewersit wouldn't be complete without a picture of Jesus

Peruvian Manufacturing, a set on Flickr.
a visit to a very inspiring and professional local manufacturer in the heart of Lima

Friday, December 7, 2012

Local manufacturing in Peru

Visiting a local manufactuer in Lima, Peru. Great team, awesome atmosphere and impressive workmanship.