Artisan: Yolima Torres Torres
Symbol: Traditional Fingerweaving
Meaning: For each bracelet purchased, an Arhuaco family will receive a rechargeable (no throw away batteries!) headlamp compatible with a solar charger.
Headlamps improve the lives of Arhuaco women by providing better lighting not only for mochila making but also using the bathroom after sunset (snakes in mountains!), caring for a sick child at night and during periods of recovery from illness or injury.
Material: 100% Handspun Sheep's Wool
Mama Mochila represents the community of Ati Gumake, nearly 50 families living remotely and steeped in Iku (Arhuaco) tradition. Our model began with the "lucha" or "fight" for truly fair wages for Iku women in 2010. Today, we collaborate with more than 30 artisans, including men, whose artisanal history is often untold yet is part of every mochila.
We empower and cultivate Iku leaders from our community. Together, we have founded the first and only Iku owned and managed shop in Palomino, a growing beach town that has put Colombia on the map.
While other Iku communities have fallen victim to wholesale companies, we remain strong in valuing our craft and tradition, thanks to you. Our culture and families are what we are most proud of.
Real wages wages allow us to invest in our farms and traditional way of life. This means we don't have to rely on donations of non-traditional clothes, unfamiliar foods and other items that over time, do away with who we are.
Your support, along with both Iku and non-Indigenous volunteers, is allowing us to create a new model, rooted in respect & understanding of who we are, Elder Brothers: Guardians of the Heart of the World. Thank you. Or as we say, "Duni."