Sumaq Ruracc

From: Yauli, Huancavelica

Aydee, Benita, and Lorenzo.
Haydee, Benita, and Lorenzo.

Group Members: Benita, Antonio, Lorenzo, Feliciana, Hayde, Teodora, Celene, Maria, Lidia, Juliana, Mercedes, Cirila, Justina

The group Sumaq Ruracc is made up of the “Ayllu” or extended family group. The extended Taype family makes up Ayllu Sumaq Ruracc or Sumaq Kawsay. The group brings an average of 60 people from the surrounding community to work together on  knitted and woven products. They employ weavers and expert knitters to produce products made of alpaca and merino wool such as hats, sweaters, scarves, gloves, and Andean tapestries. If an order is large enough, they will hire more weavers, reaching numbers as high as 200!

Two things make Sumaq Ruracc stand out: its great vitality and the way it supports local economic development. As a group and a family they have been able to help a traditional community that centers around the production of handicrafts find a market for their products and begin to bring in income.

Before becoming a part of Bridge of Hope, they did what they could to sell their handicrafts in the local market. They opened up a store and showroom in Lorenzo’s home. However, the market is saturated in Yauli, and it is nearly impossible to sell. The found the Fair Trade team in a artisan fair in Lima and from there the group was formed.

The brothers in the family began to gather all the money and tools that they could in order to have more strength. Their efforts strengthened the group and built strong ties binding the members together. Each person that is a part of the organization has his/her own role. Some dedicate themselves to quality control, others to design, others to communications, and yet others to keeping the books. Now there are five member families and when new people enter the group, they themselves offer training and workshops to make sure the person works at the same high standard that the group holds itself to.