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Artisans from the Peruvian highlands are branching out from traditional designs to try their hand and modern fashions.
Artisans from the Peruvian highlands are branching out from traditional designs to try their hand and modern fashions.

Cuzco, Peru – Handmade met high fashion when artisans from the remote highlands unveiled some of their latest creations at a fashion show in one of Peru's most stylish cities. The roughly 200 women from the groups Tres Alpaquitas and Ausangate Away raise their own alpacas and spin the animals' luxe fiber into scarves, gloves, handbags and other creations.

Heifer International Peru is helping the artisan groups get a better price for the handicrafts and yarn they sell by improving the quality of their alpaca herds and providing equipment and training.

Their creations caught the eye of the Regional Directorate of Foreign Trade and Tourism, landing the women's groups a chance to display their pieces at an expo aimed at boosting sales beyond the Peruvian border. Professional models sported handknit bags, hats and gloves crafted by Tres Alpaquitas and Ausangate Away members, who support their families largely through the sale of their work.

For more information, you can visit tresalpaquitas.com and ausangateaway.com, or find them on Facebook. If you're in Cuzco, visit the groups' store at Calle San Agustin 415-A.  

Author

Jason Woods

Jason Woods is from Stillwater, Oklahoma, and has worked for the Americas Area Program of Heifer International since 2010. He has a master’s in cultural geography and a bachelor’s in news-editorial journalism. His passion for Heifer’s work started as a teenager, when he spent a weekend at Heifer Ranch’s Global Village in Perryville, Arkansas.