Intercrafts Peru is a nonprofit civic association promoting export sales of Peruvian handicrafts. A democratic cooperative of artisan groups, Intercrafts Peru allows artisans full participation in organizational decisions. The group's aim is to keep overhead costs low, to share responsibility so more income remains in the hands of the artisans, and to explore new markets. Benefits to members include health care, loan funds and advances, school supplies and books, training program and technical assistance.
When the women of Alto Cayma go to the city in search of a better future, they leave behind a way of life they have known since childhood. However, they do bring with them many customs including long traditions of knitting and weaving. Through Ñaña, Quechua for "sister", the women draw upon skills handed down by their mothers and grandmothers while learning new techniques. Using Peruvian Alpaca wool, they create clothing and accessories that give warmth not only to those who buy them, but also to the children and families whom the women support while earning a fair wage.
Punku, founded in 2008, works with artisans and farmers all over Peru. The cooperatives include over 2,000 people sustainably living through fair trade. Mercedes Pilco joyfully shares her daily routine with other women, knitting fashion accessories in the village of Juliaca, while Wilber Huaccanqui, and several members of his association Turamaki live in the remote village of Pisaq, handcrafting water whistles. Participation in fair trade has improved the quality of life for artisans and given strength to the cooperatives.
Andes Gifts products keep hundreds of knitters representing over 20 knitting cooperatives and 40 family based knitting groups busy throughout the year. All of their clothing is made by skilled artisans with whom we maintain close contact with. They are truly expert knitters. They take pride in their work and seem to genuinely enjoy what they do for a living. The most rewarding aspect of operating a Fair Trade company is seeing firsthand the impact on the lives of these artisans and their families who supply us with our unique products.