Huaycan, Lima (« Self-managed urban community of Huaycán»)
Huaycán is a place with a history. It is a narrow valley located in the far east of Lima, in the Ate District, on the slopes of Fisgon and Huaycán mountains. The lower basin of the river Rimac is full of Inca and Pre-Inca arqueological remains, many of which have disappeared entirely due to urban expansion. Fortunately, not everything has been lost and we can still appreciate certain places like the Huaycán de Pariachi Arqueological Zone, which is the largest in the Ate Vitarte district. In former times, it is believed to have been the most important site in this part of the valley from the river Rimac.
During the fiercest era of terrorism in Peru, its inhabitants lived under threat. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report highlights that the eastern cone of Lima was the main scene of political violence in the capital. Today, however, it is one of the most thriving areas in the city, as its people have learned how to push through. There are many talented and creative people such as Maria Ramos (a native from Ayacucho, Peru, born in 1956).
Born in Huamanguilla, Ayacucho, she decided to migrate to Lima at a very young age seeking better opportunities. She is a teacher and a popular artist in “Arpillería”, an art that consists of ornamentation using hand-sewn pieces of fabric. These unique pieces tell stories, describe landscapes and have been used as a communication tool to speak out against human right violations. Currently she owns a company dedicated to manufacturing useful and decorative products applying the techniques of Arpilleria, as well as other customized designs that are sold in Peru and abroad. In addition, she was trained in Macramé weaving, Business Management, Cultural and Commercial Marketing for craftwork and Business Planning.
She is an entrepreneurial woman who empowers other women in her community, which is why she teaches these artistic techniques to various groups and in projects in rural areas. For example, she participated in the Emerging Social Productive Project “Building Peru”, an organizations of families displaced by the internal armed conflict (Mama Quilla) and was a speaker in the First International Textile and Fashion Industry Conference “FASHION DAY”, among others.