Awamaki Head of Women's Artisan Cooperatives: Mercedes Durand Zamalloa

Mercedes Durand Zamalloa

Head of Women's Artisan Cooperatives


Hometown: Urubamba, Peru

Mercedes grew up in the town of Urubamba, about 20 minutes away from Ollantaytambo. She is the Head of Women’s Artisan Cooperatives at Awamaki and is in charge of leading most of our workshops in Quechua or Spanish. As a young girl, Mercedes had been taught that she needed to take care of men throughout her life. She and her sister decided that they did not agree with this idea and have been fighting against it ever since. Mercedes loves getting the chance to interact with our artisans when they come to the office or when she goes up to the communities. She also enjoys interacting with new communities who are interested in partnering with us and figuring out how we can work together.

Favorite Peruvian Dish or Meal: Caldo de gallina

Favorite Place to Visit in Peru: The high altitude Andean communities

What they love about Awamaki: Teaching and training the women.

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.