Academic founded 2008

Address and Contact

4600 92nd Ave SE
Mercer Island , WA 98040

Kennedy Leavens(Board Chair)
206 550 6674

Organization Description

Awamaki is a small non-profit headquartered in Seattle, with all operations based in Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru. Awamaki promotes sustainable community development through education, opportunity and empowerment. The Awamaki Weaving Project works with indigenous women weavers to help them provide for their families and maintain traditional ways of life. Awamaki also works with co-operatives of low-income women and single mothers to create economic opportunities and provide business skills training. The organization works with community members to promote responsible tourism in the region that benefits local families. Awamaki also operates a health program that includes public health classes and improvement of local health services. Awamaki’s education program works to offer free classes in needed skills like English and computers to kids and adults. Volunteers are an important part of our operations in all these areas.

Example Project

The Awamaki Weaving Project works with impoverished Quechua women weavers to improve their skills and increase their access to market, thereby revitalizing an endangered weaving tradition while affording Quechua women with a reliable source of income. We operate on fair trade principles and buy directly from weavers at a price that is mutually negotiated, thus setting a standard for fair pricing in the region. We then sell these textiles at our volunteer-operated fair trade store in Ollantaytambo. Profits that are made through the sale of weavings are reinvested back into the project and the community, providing educational support to school-age weavers, allowing us to maintain an emergency medical expenses fund for the women and their children, and funding capacity-building workshops and field-trips for the weavers. Through Awamaki, the weavers have a consistent source of income that enables them to better care for their families’ needs, as well as affording them a higher degree of financial independence. Textile sales also cover the regular operating costs of the project, leaving us fully self-funded, sustainable and independent.

Activities that promote health

Food, Water Borne, & Diarrheal Diseases, Health Care & Drug Access, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Mental Health & Drug Addiction, Nutrition, Reproductive Health/Family Planning, Upper & Lower Respiratory Infection

Activities that combat poverty

Community Building, Economic & Social Inequities, Economic Development, Education & Literacy, Employment & Income Generation, Fair Trade, Microfinance & Income Generation

Areas of Service

Capacity Building, Education & Training, Public Awareness, Service Delivery

Nations of the World

Americas: Peru, Washington State, U.S.