At the end of 2009 we concluded that we wanted a more holistic approach to our work in the communities. Careful analysis and consideration led us to conclude that improving the quality of weavings and buying them from people – that then spent their money somewhat unwisely was not sustainable development.
In 2010 we will continue to focus on the improvement of weaving skills, but accompany these workshops with classes/sessions or workshops in life skills – nutrition, cooking, hygiene, child care, alcohol use, and domestic violence.
We kicked off with a cooking class in Rumira Sondormayo, led by Apus Peru´s head cook, Martin . A native Quechua speaker from the Quispicanchis region, Martin was at first overwhelmed by the challenge of teaching some 15 women a new dish to cook in their own homes. However, he took to the task like a duck to water and in the end they prepared three dishes, two soups and a main. The dishes used native ingredients like wheat, quinoa, pumpkin… Kelsey noticed that the women learned to sauté onions and garlic!
Their cooking class was accompanied by a spinning workshop led ably by Señora Augustina, and elections for 2010, which led to the election of a new president.