How We Started
Awamaki is comprised of a Peruvian Asociación Civil and a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working closely together to support women’s associations, connect them to markets and support them in leading their communities out of poverty. Though a non-profit, Awamaki uses market strategies to increasing women’s income and women-led businesses.
Awamaki was formed in early 2009 to support a cooperative of 10 women weavers from Patacancha, a rural Quechua community in the Andes of Peru. Awamaki’s founders, Kennedy Leavens, from the U.S., and Miguel Galdo, from Peru, had worked together at Awamaki’s predecessor organization with the weaving cooperative for two years. When the predecessor organization decided to close its doors, Miguel and Kennedy formed Awamaki to continue their work with the weavers. The organization grew rapidly to include programs in health and education, as well as other artisan cooperatives and a sustainable tourism program. In 2011, Awamaki spun its health program off into an independent sister organization, and made the strategic decision to focus on income improvement and market access through fair trade artisan cooperatives and sustainable tourism.
Woven in Community
At Awamaki, we believe cultural sustainability is led by and rooted in community. Grounded in fair trade principles, each of our handcrafted products are thoughtfully made in small batches. We work in deep collaboration with Andean artisans to support the creation and growth of women-led cooperatives dedicated to the craft of Quechua textiles. Building the financial independence of women is at the core of what we do.
We recognize the importance of cultivating opportunities that honor artisans, their families and communities, which is why we co-create sustainable tourism opportunities built on respect and reciprocity. From our training programs to the products we create, our shared values guide us in every aspect of how we operate.
Our Vision & Values
We hold a commitment to cultivating and supporting the traditional art of textiles. Each of our fair trade pieces is made by hand, slowly and intentionally, one thread at a time. Inspired by Andean design, we believe in creating timeless pieces designed to last, which is why we source the highest quality natural materials locally, right here in Peru.
Community // Ayllu
How we operate is grounded in community. We are a majority Peruvian and women-led organization co-creating opportunities and solutions directly in collaboration with artisan partners. We believe sustainable impact must be equitable, which is why we actively work alongside and in direct support of Quechua artisans, their families, and communities.
Reciprocity // Ayni
We care deeply about cultivating relationships built on mutual respect, honesty, and authenticity. Collaborating with and supporting women artisans in starting their own small businesses is at the heart of what we do. Our success is intertwined with the success of their businesses, and every decision we make is rooted in creating opportunities for knowledge-exchange and growth. Because when women flourish, communities do too.
Invest in Sustainable Development
Donate to our Educational and Training Programs in Peru
Awamaki is a non-profit. Your donation supports the development of sustainable women-led businesses.