As part of our celebration of Women in Travel, with our event only a few weeks away and tickets selling fast, we feature another of G Adventures social tourism enterprises; The Ccaccaccollo women’s weaving Co-operative.
There are 40 odd women at the Co-op involved in this social enterprise that preserves traditional weaving and handicraft techniques.
This community of artisan women is not only keeping the tradition alive but is very much modern and enterprising, generating income and financial security for these entrepreneurial women and their families.
“I would like to start an online store but I have more demand than the ability to supply,” one woman told me laughing through an interpreter.
It’s not a surprise given the stunning pieces for sale. These would have a 1000 per cent mark-up back in Sydney.
Baby Llama woven scarves, made with all organic dyes from berries and leaves, and hand woven into luxurious original pieces.
“Thank to tourism, we are changing our lives. Why, because of the grant we received for this business, we can invest in our children’s futures, we can invest in food security, we can repair our houses and do everything we can to grow as a human being.”
With this last comment, our bold entrepreneur got emotional, as she continued the story.
“This tourism has made our lives meaningful and thanks to tourism local government then invested money to improve the streets, and so we get more and more improvements.”
The money she has made has meant her children could all go to university. She didn’t have the opportunity to go to school because her parents were too poor so this was something she was particularly proud of.
“We are so happy because we are improving our personal lives and we can maintain this ancient tradition of textiles, and keep that part of our culture alive as we move into the future. We love to share with the travellers our ancient knowledge”
After that moving story, every scarf I picked up resonated with her.
Her words her emotions, her life-changing experience. Let’s just say I bought more scarves than a Sydney winter ever needs.
Read more about the women at Uncornered Market.
Pictures by Stu Darnley, G Adventures.