Comunidad Wiñay is a women-run artisan organization in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The women of Comunidad Wiñay are the primary, if not sole, wage earners in their families and receive a sustainable income through their artisan work. They design and create ceramic products using all-natural materials and work collectively to make important decisions regarding the direction of the organization. Comunidad Wiñay encourages women to be leaders and provides managerial courses for the artisans so that they can advance their business skills and confidence. The organization also houses a childcare center, complete with instructors and healthy lunches, for the artisans’ children.
Maria Elena Apaza: Maria has worked with Comunidad Wiñay since 1985. Prior to joining the group, she had very little control over the finances of the family. Now she manages the household with the income she receives from her craft work with the encouragement she has received from Comunidad Wiñay.