Redefining Leadership

Redefining Leadership
For a week during the month of March, Awamaki was host to six students from the World Leadership School in San Diego, California as they came down to volunteer with us. They were tasked with interviewing local women about their role as leaders in the community, and to write corresponding blog posts about their experiences, this is one of their finished pieces.

By Audrey and NickShortly after meeting some of the Awamaki staff members we left the office to venture out onto the streets of Ollantaytambo in search of a a female leader and in hopes of learning more about them. First we headed to the local artisanal market.

The first woman that caught our eye was reading a book to what seemed to be her grandchild, her name was Cristina. Cristina had been living in Ollantaytambo for her entire life and has owned her small stall at the market for the past 23 years. Her daughter, Marisa, owns a stall right next to hers. Cristina and her daughter, were both fortunate enough to attend to high school, and Marisa is even studying to go to college to become a teacher. Questions and answers were not the only communications we received. As we were asking questions, we also were able to observe her body language. It appeared to us that she felt calm as her composure was casual, however, she rarely made eye contact and her voice was soft and shy. All of this inaudible communication and body language may have been due to discussing all of this with a man, but even that it hard to tell for sure.

Overall Cristina was very timid and didn’t seem extremely confident in herself, but it’s no doubt that she is a leader in her community. After all she has been running a business for 23 years, all on her own. Not to mention she has an education to support herself, and was able to put her daughter through high school, and is supporting her dreams for furthering her education.

About Awamaki

Awamaki is a nonprofit fair trade social enterprise dedicated to connecting Andean artisan weavers with global markets. We collaborate with women artisans to support their efforts towards educational and financial independence by co-creating beautifully handcrafted knit and woven accessories using hertiage techniques.