SARAGURO INDIGENOUS WOMEN'S CENTER
Ethnically, the Saraguro people consider themselves as Pueblo, one of the original peoples of the ABYA-YALA, original name of the American continent. Due to the fact that they were conquered by the Incas, they speak Kichwa, as well as Spanish because of the Spanish conquest. The Saraguro people are located in the south of Ecuador, in the provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe. Their economy is based on subsistence farming and small livestock, which is the only source of income for the families. In recent years, this income has been complemented by handicrafts, as agricultural production is not sufficient to cover the family's needs. Thus, handicrafts play an increasingly important role in family and community subsistence, focusing mainly on textiles and weaving, such as the pieces you can find in our special sale and shop.
In this context, the Saraguro Indigenous Women's Center was created in the 80's with the objective of obtaining economic support for the indigenous population. Our colleague Juana Paqui is one of the founding members. Today, 14 women are members of the handicraft center. Their production is destined for self-consumption and the local market, thanks to which they can obtain enough money to support their families. In addition, through the Center they have obtained help from foundations, even though the Ecuadorian government has paid little attention to the protection of this legacy and of the Saraguro people in general.
Here you can see an interview made on a trip to Saraguro with Juana from the Indigenous Women's Center. In it, she tells us a little more about the group of artisans.