SPI is promoting the conservation of the World Heritage Site of Pachacamac by making it An economic and social hub for disadvantaged women from surrounding divided communities
National Geographic recently visited the project. Watch their video and read their findings here on the National Geographic Blog!
Peruvian national television also came to see what we were doing. Watch their report here. For those of you who don't speak Spanish, here are some of the things the women said:
SPI was awarded the 2015 Second Tourism Cares / Turismo Cuida to support the development of SISAN and local artisan craft.
SPI has constructed a workshop and meeting place for the group, developed the brand SISAN ('to flower' in Quechua), and delivered comprehensive training in business, craft and entrepreneurship skills to 23 women and one man from local communities. The meeting place has also created a new 'safe space' for the women outside their homes.
Sales began in December 2014, less than a year after the project was first announced. Since then the business has received over $75,000 in revenues, with sales for 2016 increasing 65% over 2015, and increasing again by 25% in 2017, and again by 70% in 2018.
The women are now running their own business independent of SPI! They are getting their own contracts, growing their members, working on improving their sales, and expanding their product range, including making more use of their traditional craft skills.
The women have created a strong cohesive unit, overcoming traditional hostility between communities, with many already using the project to further individual and family well-being (see Sabina's story above for an example!). We have now also launched the BiciTour project at the site to help local young people.
The Pachacamac Site Museum no longer has to call the police to stop threats to the site from the local community - they value the site!
The Big thing we have learned
Business skills training is essential. The ability for these women, many of whom have never earned their own money, to manage and organized their own business comes from having the skills to do so. They are able to solve their own problems, making the business truly sustainable.
To help the business grow we are providing extra training to SISAN to incorporate more of the women's own artisanal skills into products to expand the range they offer and make them more unique. We need your help to do that!
Coming from a impoverished background Sabina has been interested in handicraft from a young age and involvement in SISAN has allowed her to achieve her personal goals and develop herself. Sabina is responsible for production and sales analysis for SISAN and has subsequently won a scholarship to the prestigious ESAN University to study business. The knowledge she will acquire will not only benefit herself and her family but will be passed on to all the members of SISAN.