Programme profile

Hilando Culturas (Spinning Cultures)

Bolivia Peru Latin America and Caribbean Manufacturing

Programme Index Listing

Bolivia, Peru
Main implementer
Practical Action
Other implementers
ProgettoMondo Mlal; ETC Andes; Red OEPAIC
European Commission
2014 - 2017
Total budget
US $1.7 million
Annual budget
US $ 600,000

Project description / objective

Textile art: a project aiming at enhancing the capacities of cultural agents for development and to consolidate the textile art production chain with cultural identity. Production was linked sustainably to the markets of the Andean Highland Corridors of Cusco-Puno in Peru and La Paz-Oruro in Bolivia.  

The project resulted in a 40 per cent increase in incomes of 1,200 handicrafts men and women. This was achieved by:

  • access to service platforms
  • the generation of three new channels of commercialisation (local, national and international)
  • the development of regional plans for the handicrafts sector aimed at the promotion of textile art with cultural identity 

Market systems focus

Textile art

Poverty, including high rates of malnutrition and low levels of schooling, affects more than 60 per cent of the population in areas around cities and rural communities of the Andean regions of Cusco, Puno, La Paz and Oruro. 

Production and commercialisation of textiles represent an important opportunity for income generation for approximately 12,000 handicrafts men and women. These men and women live under poverty and extreme poverty conditions. They preserve the cultural heritage of local textile art in these regions. However there are critical technical, commercial and management challenges that hinder development and inhibit the consolidation of this value chain.

Programme interventions

1. Capacity strengthening

Capacity strengthening for the revalorisation of cultural heritage, including the development of:

  • production centres that promote the usage of inventories
  • interpretation centres
  • a registry of author rights

2. Increasing technical and production skills

Increase in technical and production skills of textile artists and producers' networks with an aim to develop sustainability, including production under established quality standards.

3. Commercial articulation

Commercial articulation of artisans' networks and regional operators with textile handicrafts' value chain - and linked to national and international markets.

4. Establishment of a joint cultural agenda

Establishment of a joint cultural agenda as well as consolidation of the textile art sector by generating regional plans involving local governments and local production networks.

Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)

Average monthly family income related to handicrafts sales increased from:

  • USD 1.5 to USD 15 in Peru
  • USD 3.0 to USD 15 in Bolivia

There were a total of 1,321 beneficiaries spanning 75 associations in Peru and Bolivia.

The Puno Camelids Centre for Production Research and Technological Transfer (CITE) has institutionalised the process of skills certification. It included the training needs of artisans in its annual operational plan.

Practical Solutions also trained 18 promoters who have been certified as “Experts in textile design”. These promoters are able to offer their extension and technical assistance services to other artisans. This type of certification has been acknowledged by the National System for Evaluation, Accreditation and Certification of Training Quality (SINEACE).

Canchis Provincial Municipality organises contests and fairs aimed at promoting the textile sector. The main fair is called Cómprale a Melgar (Buy to Melgar).

Local Municipalities of Canchis, Pitumarca and Tinta have budgets that include funds for handicrafts stores and textile art interpretation centres which are directly managed by 20 groups of artisans involved in the project. 

As a result of articulation with other local governments and artisans, the Regional Production Department of Cusco actively promotes the participation of artisans’ associations in business roundtables, such as MyPeru. These include 22 associations mainly made up of women.

In Bolivia, the Economic Organisations of Artisan Producers with Cultural Identity Network (OEPAIC Network) makes up part of the National Council of Artisans. It has contributed to, and worked on, the development of regulations for the structuring of department councils, as well as to the investment of government funds for the promotion of handicrafts.  

[uploaded December 2017]