Pijal Community Project Sacha Warmikuna
This pandemic has hit us all in very different ways. It is now that we need to stand tall, reach out and support one another. Some values that were once long forgotten are coming back. New times, new realizations, new goals and a new way of living is what awaits us all.
When organized communities face a problem or need, that is, to transform their reality and it is essential to trace a path; make decisions about how to resolve that situation and how to make better use of resources to do so. That is when we know, it requires raising a project.
For this reason, Adventure Journeys undertook the search for new alliances in our country, with the purpose of teaching, growing, changing, daring and giving. These alliances are not commercial, nor for profit. They are ties created with a common goal: exposing a different reality, the Ecuadorian reality.
We have had the delight of meeting enterprising people, and above all, lovers of what they do. So please join us and we will tell you about one of our projects in Pijal.
The community of Pijal is located in the northern Andean area of Ecuador. To be exact, in the southern part of the province of Imbabura, on the border with the province of Pichincha. It belongs to the Canton Otavalo, González Suárez parish, and is located about 95 km north of the city of Quito.
When speaking of the origin of the Pijal community, exact dates cannot be given of its conformation or its foundation, but it goes back to the times of the formation of the Cayambi – Caranqui Confederation, that is, before the presence of the Incas and the Spanish. More and more tourists visit Otavalo each day. So, it is important to implement the SACHA WARMIKUNA project, to publicize the indigenous culture, customs, traditions and worldview that is reflected in their textiles. This being a letter of introduction for national and foreign tourists to be motivated to visit the Pijal community.
Sacha Warmikuna is a project founded and conformed by women. With the sponsorship and support of AJ, Rocio Inlago, Carmen Imbaquingo and Beatriz Perugachi were able to fulfill one of their dreams in such a difficult time as we live in today. The post-pandemic crisis plus the machista culture, have made it increasingly difficult for women to obtain education and a source of employment.
This project is a vision led by amazing women whose main motivation is to have an alternative to support and sustain their homes. These three women created an opportunity to materialize their ideas through this incredible project. They were able to form an association of independent entrepreneurs who value and understand the significance of their culture, their food and their art. This legacy will be passed on from generation to generation.
Women in the community are constantly participating in mantaining a sustainable economy and empowering themselves. This is reflected in the improvement of their quality of life.
In the future, we want to welcome more and more people. In addition, we want locals to be part of the activities to be carried out, such as the elaboration of weavings, being this the way to express their culture and their cosmovision.
- Inclusion and participation
- Responsibility and integrity
- Share knowledge
- The objective of the project is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants of PIJAL. This is achieved through its revitalization and community development from a sociocultural perspective.
- Strengthen the spaces for participation in socio-cultural activities in defense of culture, heritage, identity and the environment
- Train community members as facilitators of social transformation, seeking to be the protagonists of their own development. . To achieve these purposes, a better outlined culture and care for the environment, mainly using the new generations. Overall, the project aims to preserve all the rich cultural wealth.
You will be able to visit the workshop where the magic happens. For this purpose, the women have elaborated an itinerary to make your stay in Pijal a geat experience.
12:30 The AJ Guide will introduce you to Sacha Warmikuna.
- For half an hour, you will be able to learn about medicinal plants. Carmen, one of the founders of Sacha Warmikuna, has great experience in the management of ancestral medicine.
- Recognition of the place.
- Visit the garden where the majority of vegetables are obtained from the crops of the people who live in the surroundings less than 1 km away. The community is an example of the practice of the concept of “zero Km Food”. It refers mainly to non-industrial fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat, honey, etc. that have not passed through global trade chains. For this reason, they do not have large price margins or loss of quality during long storage in international supermarkets.
The Ecological aspect is a relevant matter which can not be overseen; since there is no transport involved (we buy from the shop on the corner), the environment does not suffer from direct and indirect pollution.
13:00 Once you know where the food comes from, you will be able to enjoy a delicious and typical Andean lunch.
-Before food is served, you can participate in the elaboration of the chily sauce. It is a custom that comes from hundreds of years ago. It is said, that when a woman learns to prepare the sauce, she is ready to get married.
In Ecuador, the spicy sauce is served separately so you can choose how spicy you like the food.
14:00 The last 30 minutes will be an explanation provided in their Kichwa language about the process of manufacturing scarves that is typical in their community.
AJ Guide will be the translator.
PROCESS AND DEMONSTRATION
The process of manufacturing wool-alpaca scarves use resources and materials found in the sector.
- Choose alpaca and sheep wool
- Washing and drying – alpaca or sheep wool
Scrubbing and cleaning wool
- Combing wool to spin yarn
- Dying yarn with plant pigments
- Weaving (2 weeks)
- Final product
The demonstration will be given step by step. All the materials are ready for you to see the weaving process. The teamwork of the women will allow the Sacha Warmikuna to have a variety of products in addition to scarves that are also handmade.
- You can find medicinal pads: a mix between medicinal plants and embroidery (insomnia problems)
- Embroidered tablecloths
- Embroidered table runners
- Natural medicine, etc.
Why visit the PIJAL” Sacha Warmikuna” Project ?
Around the province of Imbabura there are many projects with similar characteristics. Undertake with Sacha Warmikuna, we seek to include all women of all ages. It is open to the whole community to integrate, participate and share knowledge, creating an environment of well-being by improving their coexistence, their economy and most importantly, maintain all the culture and ancestral knowledge. Pijal is open to you to visit this home and feel a day of authentic experiences. You know from women of the community how difficult it is to coexist in a machista society. Put aside the obstacles and start doing the job of calling all the warmis to carry out their dreams. Contributing to women’s economic empowerment is one way for you to support women through a sustainability strategy.
TEAM AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Rocio Inlago: She is the leader of the project and our direct contact with the community. She has a bachelor’s degree in tourism.
Beatriz PerugachI: She is in charge of the administration of the project and has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition.
Carmen Imbaquingo: She has a deep knowledge about medicinal plants, in addition to weaving and embroidery.