From: Yauli, Huancavelica
Group Members: Teresa, Vilma and Edmundo
Achka Maki, which means “Various Hands,” formed as an association in 2011 thanks to the efforts of a married couple in Yauli, Huancavelica. They were looking for new opportunities and independence from work where they were being exploited and taken advantage of. Teresa and her husband decided to knock on the doors of several families of other knitting friends and invite them to form an association. There are 12 stable associates who govern the organization. In periods of high demand, other women and families help knit or weave in order to complete the order. This allows them to offer opportunities for work to other women from Huancavelica.
Teresa is an untiring worker. To improve her work, she looks for allies who can help her association. She found the organization DIRCETUR and requested that they provide trainings in design. They acquiesced to her request, and with this training Achka Maki was able to increase their capacity and ability to create new products for their group and to open up for themselves space in the competitive market of artisan weavers. Thanks to this training, she was invited to participate in various local fairs to exhibit their products.
All of the women that form a part of Achka Maki have an important role. Each of them distribute the responsibilities in the areas of design, quality control, buying material, coordination, and costs.
During their first two years as a group, Achka Maki operated under the principles of Fair Trade without realizing it. When they presented themselves to Bridge of Hope hoping to become a part of the project, it was a surprise to them to learn that they already were working under these values of solidarity and community cooperative that today we call Fair Trade.