Llamkaq warmi

I{short description of image}n Villa El Salvador there is a craft group called Llamkaq Warmi. The craft group got together some years ago with the aim of using the skills they had to make some money of their own for their households. The women work sewing arpilleras* or glueing and sewing greetings cards from their own homes; it is work they can do while caring for their children, and it is work they are proud of.  [*Arpilleras are a popular art form that has developed in the shanty towns of Latin America, using scraps of material, wool etc. to depict scenes of traditional life]

 Project Peru supports this organisation of women from Villa El Salvador, and also a number of other groups,  who make cards, arpilleras and other artesania from their homes; we buy their products at a fair price to sell at craft stalls in the UK.

The Peru Support Group described Llamkaq Warmi's work as follows:

"The money they earn from their work is split between them, some of the money is invested back into the business, for the purchase of materials, and the rest is shared out. Most of the women use the money for everyday things, or things which we probably take for granted, they buy materials to improve their houses, buy school books, and pay enrolment fees for their children to study.

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"One of the women, Lali, is a single mother with a small daughter, part of the money she earns from making the crafts is spent on buying ingredients in bulk for her small business making cakes. Like many Peruvian women Lali works in the informal sector, she bakes cakes at home and then sells slices on the streets; buying the raw ingredients in bulk means that she can earn more from the cake that she sells. Lali also uses the money she earns to pay for medicines for her daughter. Like many of the inhabitants of Villa El Salvador Lali lives very close to the sea. Her house, which is made of wood and straw, offers little shelter and like many people, especially children, her young daughter suffers from bronchitis. The other women say that Lali used to be very quiet and that she used never to give her own opinions, they tell me that through her work with the group she has gained both confidence and self esteem.

"The women are organised; they meet once a week to bring in the work they've been doing, to comment and give advice and to support each other. The income from the business is sporadic, they depend largely on outside organisations and foreign visitors for their sales, although they continue to try and find a niche in the Peruvian national or tourist market by attending trade fairs. The women from the group also attend a group workshop session where they get together with other members of the community and learn leadership skills."