Peace Corps volunteers in Peru work directly with groups of artisans and craftspeople, providing business advice on marketing, networking, tourism opportunities, Web site development, and more. These partnerships frequently result not only in the creation of beautiful works of art, but also the preservation and continuity of traditional culture.
Emilio Antón Flores, Chulucanas, Peru
Emilio is the president of the artisan association called La Tierra Encantada. Founded in 2000 and currently consisting of eighteen members, La Tierra Encantada produces ceramics in a variety of artisanal techniques. The association is operated and supported by the Peruvian government agency CITE Cerámica.
Danitza Lourdes Ramos de Gonzalez, Callalli, Peru
Danitza is an independent artisan of handmade alpaca products who is skilled in ahuar weaving, knitting, and embroidery. She participates in artisan fairs all over Arequipa, Peru, and is also deeply involved in the tourism committee of Callalli.
Hilda Maribel Sifuentes Altamirano, Huamachuco, Peru
Hilda is the president of the association Los Laureles. Los Laureles is comprised of eighteen female artisans from Huamachuco, a historic town in the highlands of La Libertad in northern Peru. The organization was founded in 2006.
Camille Smith, Crofton, Maryland, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Peru
As a Small Business Advisor assigned to a northern, coastal town in Peru (2008–2010), Camille worked with a variety of counterpart organizations including local municipalities, NGOs, youth groups, schools, and artisan associations to advise on multiple projects that supported social, economic, and cultural development. During her service she helped lead the startup of a rural tourism business to increase economic opportunities within the community.
Maria Cecilia Yarlequé Flores, Catacaos, Peru
Maria is the leader of the Asociación Virgen del Perpetuo Socorro, comprised of sixty female artisans from the historic town of Narihuala. The artisans are most famous for their chalán-style hat, sported by the male dancer of the marinera. Their product line also includes baskets, gift boxes, flowers, vases, purses, jewelry, and decor.