(Huacalera, Argentina)

Celeste is an artisan and entrepreneur who, at only 25 years old, runs a family business of artisan pieces. She promotes and helps to maintain the art of weaving in the Puna area and has helped more than 200 women to improve and learn new weaving techniques.

Kenko, the name of the business that she runs with her family, comes from a Quechua word which means broken line (zig-zag) but in its deepest meaning it means road. Their foundations were rooted generations ago, their grandparents were weavers and they passed their knowledge on to their children. Twenty five years ago, Celeste's parents moved from Casillas to Huacalera and started from scratch. They started knitting out of necessity to be able to get dressed and little by little they began working on orders.

Celeste started a career that she soon left, after not being able to get used to life in the city, and began studying to become an English teacher in a town much closer to her home. She started working in tourism but never left aside the crafts, informing and showing everyone who was interested. Seeing that in the municipality there was little information about weavers and their history (when it is a tradition so characteristic of the area and with a very important cultural value) she decided to claim and thus began to work with the secretary of tourism of San Salvador to promote and inform about the crafts in the Puna.

Celeste also spent a year visiting Aboriginal communities in the region to accompany women and reinforce their knowledge of weaving, knitting and dyeing, In addition she showed them new techniques that they would like to learn. She also provided advice on how to knit depending on their clients (many communities wove with a very closed weaving point for the cold of the altiplano but their main clients are people from southern Argentina where the climate is warmer).

Celeste posando en su taller.

Una de las dos tejedoras que usa para trabajar.

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