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Meet Evangelina, Indigenous Artisan

EHW FB postNot For Sale is proud to partner with Indigenous, a clothing line that is committed to social responsibility in its supply chain. Their vision is the empowerment of the artisans who make their products, and below is an interview with one of those women, Evangelina Arivilica. Interested in their beautiful products? Check out their beautiful bracelet featured on our marketplace.

What is your job title what are your job responsibilities?

 I have a community artisan workshop in Nueva Aboarada , in the south of Peru . I am the coordinator of this working collaboration.

My responsibilities are to teach my group how to make the different items that we weave and knit with our hands. I also distribute and organize the work we produce. I coordinate all aspects of the handmade projects we do.


When did you start your cooperative? How long have you worked with INDIGENOUS?

I have been knitting for a long time but in 2006 I organized several women in my neighborhood and then soon began working with Indigenous.

 What progress has your workshop made since it started?

In the beginning, we formed a team, a group of women artisans from our community. At first we gained skill from doing artisanal work with alpaca yarn, making items for tourists. Over time, we learned how to do high quality hand knits for Indigenous, and this gave us more work to do, and also different types of work and better skills.

 Are you married? Do you have any children? If so, how many?

In the highlands we marry very young, and I have been married for 30 years. I have 6 children, ages 30, 28, 26, 24, 22, and 16. All of my children attended the public school. We own our own house, and that is where our workshop is located. Our house is equipped with water and electricity, which was not always the case. I do not have an oven or a refrigerator, but we now have a television, a radio, and we also have a cell phone.

 Has your work with INDIGENOUS affected your life and the lives of your family? Is your life the same or has it improved?

My work with Indigenous has given me the possibility of being able to earn my own money. With my own money I make I can contribute to the improvement of my family, which is incredible. Being able to do my work at home is the best part for me. With this knitting and weaving I feel that now I am given the possibility to improve my life. With the work we get, I can also give work to the wonderful women of the community, which also helps to improve their lives and our community. I am able to have my own money to invest in my family and children.

 What does Fair Trade mean to you?

I do not know much about fair trade, but I know that it is related to justice and taking good care of people.

 How has working with INDIGENOUS helped you to have a positive social impact on your community?

Having work from Indigenous has definitely helped us. All of the women in the same situation in my community now have the possibility of working at home and being able to improve their lives. Because of the work from Indigenous, I feel good that I can make independent decisions that are good for me and my community and that help my children with their lives and their futures.

 Do you think having orders from INDIGENOUS increased your groups growth?

Yes. There is definitely an increase in growth for our Artisan workshop. More than 75% of my business comes from making garments  for Indigenous. The work has also brought an increase of income for my family, and an increase in the number of women in my group.

What has been your biggest achievement?

To have my group of women close to me and to teach them skills that will help to improve their lives. Many in my group of women have better lives now and I am very proud of this.

 What are your dreams for the future?

 My dreams for the future are to continue teaching and increasing the amount of women in our group, and to continue receiving an income so I can improve the lives of myself and my family and this community.

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