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Walking out to this tiny community, high on the Inca trail, is like taking a step back in time: centuries of tradition and a relaxed lifestyle, framed by picturesque rural scenery. The village itself is a wash of color and light: nearly every home has a lush flower garden and exterior walls painted with rainbows, sunrises, and birds. Even more amazing are the intricate, handwoven shawls, button-trimmed jackets, and beaded hats the women design for themselves–each piece reflecting the style and personality of the woman who made it.

But the women of Patacancha, though they cherish this way of life, have innovated by forming a weaving collective. Weaving has given them the freedom to preserve their beloved “old world” culture while providing job opportunities and financial security for their families.

At the center of this picture you'll find these dedicated women, all sitting in groups weaving and chatting while their children play around them. Against the backdrop of the Andes, with their ancient heads in the clouds, we’re reminded that a slower pace of life focused on love and craftsmanship is a thing of beauty.



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