El Mercurio

From: Santa Barbara, Huancavelica

Group Members: Yody, Sandra, Rosita, Rufina, Tomotea, Julia, Juanita, Antonia, Hayde, Sixta, Rosalina, Rebeca, Reyna, Eusebia, Tanita, Paulina, Tania, Silvia, Domitila, Aydeé Riveros, Aydee Romo, Elisa, Reneé, Luzmila

The whole group outside the workshop.
The whole group outside the workshop.

El Mercurio began in 2002 thanks to the support of one of the associates of the Joining Hands Network, Atiypaq. The women were motivated to start this group and began to give shape to their own knitting business. The dream began with three enthusiastic women that each dedicated herself to a different specialty, giving diversity to their work.

The challenge was great: married women with children beginning to work for themselves, breaking the traditional way of doing things in that era. The role of the woman was supposed to be limited to household chores and caring for the kids in the home. Of the three enthusiastic women, only one could stick it out. In spite of the difficulty, this woman pushed ahead with the goal of creating her own business. Little by little she received small local orders until one day the workers from Fair Trade visited her and proposed that she begin working with Bridge of Hope. She received her first order of 300 items and from there our mother of courage, Yody Moran, began to look for others mothers that knew how to knit and had the desire to achieve big things in their families. That was the birth of El Mercurio – a group of six enthusiastic women that pursued their dreams until they reached them.

El Mercurio has continued growing from there. There have been problems along the way like in everything that is just starting up, but being enterprising women with good help from Fair Trade, they have continued moving forward. Today, every one of the 30 members of El Mercurio has a story of struggle but also a story of success that keeps them pushing on.