Total loan: $875


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El Alto, La Paz Department, Bolivia / Arts

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A loan helped to buy wholesale alpaca wool, to make hand-dyed blankets.

Vanessa's story

Vanessa is a young woman of 18, single, with no children and she works weaving blankets. She works in the Batallas territory, a rural area close to Lake Titicaca where the residents work in farming, fishing, cattle raising and handicrafts. Vanessa shares her life with her parents, who are employed. They live in an adobe house that only has electricity, since there is no other service available in the area. She works making blankets out of alpaca wool. The fabric is very popular with the traditional women, because it's part of their dress. Alpaca wool is highly valued by both residents and foreigners for its ability to retain heat. Her job consists of travelling to distant places in the plateau to buy the wool, then washing it and sometimes dying it before carding the wool and turning it into a yarn. Once she has enough yarn she begins the manual weaving process: "just like my ancestors, hundreds of years ago, I weave on a loom, making the process that much more worthwhile"...she says. Her business succeeds because the blankets are in demand by most of the population. Her dream is to build a craft textile company, so she wishes to buy wholesale alpaca wool. This is the first cycle of loans with the institution in the five years she has been in the business. For these reasons Vanessa is requesting a loan to buy wholesale alpaca wool and weave hand-dyed blankets.