Wawamama is a social initiative dedicated to the production of decorative items for the little ones at home and driven by the desire to revalue handcraft work.
Led by the Interior Designer Alejandra Fiallo, Wawamama creates a unique and multifaceted approach to alleviate unsustained revenue for local artisan women.
Wawamama pays fair wages to artisans and offers training/mentoring in hand knitting techniques and modern designs.
“Behind each product there is always a great story, and a trace of art and dreams.”
Editta -who prefers not to disclose her last name- has worked with Alejandra for several years and in hand knitting, she has found solid ground and a north star.
As a little girl - and as the oldest sister of nine- she knew she had to engage in agricultural activities and animal husbandry to support her family’s income generation.
Editta grew up in Sig Sig, a small town located in the southern Ecuadorian Andes, and at the age of 12, she left school to work on the land.
She gracefully remembers peeling chickens as the perfect moment to watch over her younger brothers (she laughs), and her eyes sparkle when she thinks of the beauty of playing around in the midst of rural freedom.
Her passion for hand knitting began watching her grandfather knitting blankets and ponchos for their family, and no wonder why as an elementary schooler she signed up to every handcraft activity offered at the community school.
With a heavy heart she talks about the struggles she faced when her husband emigrated to the United States during the economic crisis in the late 90s, and with great sadness, she recalls his absence since then.
Alone with two daughters, Editta moved to the nearest city preventing her girls to participate in domestic and agricultural labor at a young age.
Now, with decades of experience in knitting and crocheting, Editta uses her best tools: her hands and her heart. And she uses them with great finesse.
Knitting allowed Editta to believe in herself, and now, she is proud to watch her daughter about to finish nursing school.
Editta continues to work in her art along with Wawamama, and, despite the economic and emotional difficulties, she is an example of resilience, growth and tenacity.
“Con Wawamama he superado mi técnica, y también, me he superado económicamente. Ahora se que puedo hacer muchas cosas mas y he visto que soy capaz de hacer.”
Simiatug, pronounced shimi-AH-took and equivalent to “Mouth of the Wolf” in Kichwa, is a remote village tucked away in a valley in between the Andes (inside the Chimborazo Wildlife Reserve).
Wawamama is a social initiative dedicated to the production of decorative items for the little ones at home and driven by the desire to revalue handcraft work. Led by the...