In Peru, the government has taken drastic action in response to COVID-19. Borders are completely closed, the tourism industry shuttered, foreigners stranded, public transport forbidden. Police and military patrol the streets to enforce the lockdown.
Our female artisan partners have sequestered in their remote villages. They would need to walk many hours to reach the nearest market or store. But even if they did, without income from tourism or sales of their crafts, it is impossible for them to buy essentials like medicines, fruits, vegetables, oil and rice.
These women and their families rely on tourism for nearly all of their cash income, and the indefinite suspension of tourism will have severe effects. While craft sales through our programs will help once the quarantine is lifted and we can place orders again, these sales are mostly to tourists in Peru and to small businesses in the U.S. We expect that both will be affected.
We at Awamaki draw strength from our artisan partners. As they work their land, practice their craft, and take refuge in their community, we are deeply inspired by their resilience.
As part of our mission, we strive to give a hand up rather than a handout; opportunity rather than material support. But we recognize that sometimes, material support is what's most needed. Now is one of those times. Please join us in solidarity with these strong, resilient women leaders and extend your hand to support their families with a donation.
Our artisan partners have told us that their greatest need right now is food for their families. We are using donations to purchase essential food items like rice, oil, sugar, milk, tinned fish, and dry goods like beans and wheat berries.
With you, we can minimize the impact of the pandemic and ensure food and economic security for our female artisan partners and their families. Together, we have gotten this far, and together, we will get through this. Thank you for your support.