This month we checked in with the AMARNO women’s association in Cool Earth’s Awajún partnership in northern Peru. What started as five women collecting seeds together is now a thriving group of women. Income from the sale of their beautiful rainforest jewellery is outpricing any offers from loggers, and that’s just great.
This year, the group has gone from strength to strength. AMARNO is now one of the Amazon’s flagship indigenous artisan groups. But these women have bigger ambitions. They want to make sure they can achieve the same goals as any successful business. So Cool Earth is helping to provide accountancy training, and thanks to Rosa Paucai, some will be trained to use laptops to boost their marketing skills.
All this may seem a little removed from rainforest protection, but as with all of our partnerships, we realise that strengthening the livelihoods which depend on the forest is the best way of keeping it safe long-term.
When something works so well, we make sure that every other Cool Earth partner can learn from it. So, 500 miles to the south of Awajún, eight Asháninkan women have launched ‘Jeto’, their very own artisan jewellery and textiles cooperative.
Using traditional designs that inspired Vivienne Westwood’s catwalk show in 2014, Jeto will be working hard to match AMARNO’s success. To support them, Cool Earth has arranged for some of the AMARNO women to travel down to Cutivereni. They’ve planned workshops on everything, from creating necklace fastenings to raising invoices.
Success is catching.