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Birthday & Photoshoot

Posted at August 1, 2012 | By : | Categories : Canada,Peru | 0 Comment

Welcome to our new blog

We realized that it was about time we started letting everyone know what’s going on in Mosqoy’s world: between Mosqoy and Q’ente, a budding Kallpa K’oj program, Education Generation Fellows in Peru, new campaigns, and a new Mosqoy website: there really is a lot! And what better time to start blogging than around Mosqoy’s 6th birthday, which happened last week! It can be tricky keeping up with an organization that works in two continents and three different languages (English, Spanish & Quechua), but our teams in Canada and Peru work so closely together that the distance sometimes feels non-existent. We hope that our blog can transmit the intercultural connection that Mosqoy celebrates, and give you a unique insight into our work in the Peruvian Andes and Canada.

Mapacho River

Celebrating in Peru

Condors, hospitality and a bit of mud!

Our Peru team started off the weekend with a trip to the Mapacho River Valley – as part of the monthly circuit  taken by Mosqoy Director, Ashli Akins, and other volunteers to visit Q’ente’s weaving communities. On this particular trip, Ashli, Elizabeth (Mosqoy Student), Education Generation Fellows Amanda and Matthew, and student sponsor Gayle, visited Parobamba, Bombon and Pitukiska; some of our most remote communities. Quite the hike! Good thing the views are spectacular.

After a short stop at Bombon to check on the progress of their new weaving centre, the group decided to move onto Pitukiska, our most remote weaving community, and the last stop on the trip. About half-way along, they were amazed to see an Andean condor flying right overhead. For many, this was their first ever sighting of the majestic Peruvian bird, which has been known to grow almost 2x the size of a bald eagle!

The Andean condor

As they neared the village in the descending darkness, the team almost got completely stuck in the dense mud due to all the heavy rains. A young girl from a nearby house came running to their rescue – and they were welcomed to her house to dry off and warm up with some hot tea and potatoes.

The next day (Mosqoy’s official 6th birthday) they were greeted by the local weaving association’s president, Melcher, with hot water, tea and breakfast. Then they were brought outside for a birthday celebration!

This is an excerpt from Matt’s Education Generation blog about the event:

Walking into the area where the meeting was scheduled, each person said hello and showered us with white flower petals. Remember that this is a place where not many things at all grow, so I have no idea where they got the flowers, but it probably involved a very early hike for someone this morning. There was a man playing a flute and another, a drum.

As Melcher started the introduction we realized that this was all in celebration of the 6th anniversary of Mosqoy, which Ashli had casually mentioned the night before. He then asked if we would all be willing to dress in their local outfits for the meeting which we were all happy to do. I was given a colourful poncho and a woolly cap while the girls’ outfits included skirts, a shawl of sorts and a hat that helped keep the sun out off their eyes.

Read Matt’s full account in his blog on the Education Generation website.

Amanda, Gayle, Elizabeth, Ashli and Matthew dressed in traditional clothes of the Andes.

We feel tremendously honoured and grateful to be working with the Pitukiska community.

Getting ready for the photo shoot

Celebrating in Canada

Photo shoot, bonfire & good times

Back in Victoria, BC, Canada, our fruitful Marketing Team Meetings spurred us to organise a Mosqoy photo shoot on beautiful Dallas Beach. As plans came together, we realized that it would be perfect to combine our photo shoot with a Mosqoy birthday celebration, and so the Mosqoy photo shoot/birthday bonfire was born!

It was a perfect evening despite the chilly wind, and looking back at the photos we realise that sunset lighting just makes everything look so great! We wanted to show how versatile the Q’ente  fair-trade textiles are, and how they can add a touch of colour and craftsmanship to both men and women. The Pacific ocean and rugged driftwood were the perfect backdrop for our models – all of which are Mosqoy volunteers and friends. Beautiful inside and out! Special thanks to our volunteer photographer, Jayce Hawkins, who will soon be heading to Peru to film a short documentary and introductory film about Mosqoy – more details on that soon.

A sneak peek at some of our photos – these will be in our 2012/2013 textile catalogue (coming soon)

Later on, after the photo shoot, all the volunteers and friends got together for a bonfire. The wind died down, and the moon was clear and glowing. It was one of those lovely nights when you realize that summer is in full effect.

Mosqoy’s 6th birthday has made us reflect on how it all started six years ago, and how far we’ve come since then – sponsoring over 60 Peruvian students and supporting the art, culture and lifelihoods of over 160 Andean weavers. In our next blog post, we’ll travel back to 2006 to revisit our origins and capture the tale of how a young Canadian student fell in love with Peru and sparked the community grassroots movement that we now know as Mosqoy. Stay tuned!

Mosqoy’s 6th Birthday Bonfire in Victoria, BC

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