Women’s Weaving Co-op Ccaccaccollo

Our Travelsphere Cares programme, in partnership with the Planeterra Foundation, supports local projects and social enterprises by helping them earn an income from the tourism industry. We simply donate a portion of the funds from our tours, so it’s great to know that when you travel with us you are helping to change lives and create a positive impact from travel.

Ccaccaccollo is an Indigenous community located in the Andean area of Cusco. It is inhabited primarily by 140 Quechua-speaking families who maintain a traditional way of life, with many involved in agriculture. To preserve their rich cultural heritage and earn additional income, the Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Co-op was established. Through their efforts, they are reviving the lost weaving traditions of previous  generations.

Despite the close proximity to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, and the thousands of tourists that visit these sites each year, very few communities from the surrounding countryside benefit from tourism. Like in many communities worldwide, women in Ccaccaccollo faced exclusion from educational and economic opportunities, highlighting the need for a solution that empowers them to support themselves and their families.

Planeterra partnered with the Ccaccaccollo community in 2005 to establish a women's weaving cooperative, aiming to create economic opportunities for the women. We supported the co-op with capacity-building programs, facilities, and equipment. New production methods were introduced to appeal to travellers, while preserving traditional weaving techniques with llama and alpaca wool.

The impact of tourism

Today, more than 80 are employed as part of the cooperative, constantly learning new methods and styles of weaving and knitting, whilst also maintaining traditional ones, and producing textiles made from llama and alpaca wool. In addition to this;

  • Co-op members have been able to contribute to their families’ income
  • Women who have been with the project since the beginning report that all of their children attend university
  • Those involved in the cooperative are the first generation to be completely literate in Spanish
  • The community is using tourism as a tool to protect and preserve natural and cultural resources and express, share, develop, and pursue their traditions
  • Due to the success of the Co-op, they have since opened a Community Homestay

On our ‘Epic Peru’ tour, you will visit the project and learn all about the weaving and dyeing techniques used to create traditional garments. There’s also the opportunity to purchase souvenirs directly from the women who made them, so you know your purchase is having an impact.