Mr. Rubén & Mrs. Isabelle, as they are affectionately called by everyone, lead Achiy’s family production workshop in Cusco.
Mr. Rubén & Mrs. Isabelle share a passion for traditional textile art. Both learned the craft from their parents and now pass it on to their children and within their community.
“For me, it is very important that we can work together as a family. My husband Rubén, my mother Antonia and soon my children. Our craft gives us work and enables us to live here in Cusco. Being able to make clothes in a traditional way here at home is very special. The most important thing for us is to give work to our friends and our community. People come to us to learn the traditional art of knitting. Where there are people who give us work, we are the people who give others work.” – Isabelle Mamani
Being a part of the Fashion Revolution movement and being able to tell their story fills Mr. Rubén & Mrs. Isabelle with a great deal of pride.
“For me it is very emotional if I can continue our traditional textile art. To see our photo together with our products, which we produce here in our home, is hard to put into words. Especially when we know that our story is told abroad.”Rubén Caryamarca
For Mr. Rubén & Mrs. Isabelle, sustainability means their work. Because it can only be done in groups. “Our craftsmanship has always existed. We continue to use it. In our families, in our communities.” – Rubén Caryamarca
In their spare time, Mr. Rubén & Mrs. Isabelle not only teach the traditional art of knitting at schools in Cusco, but also visit the indigenous Quechua communities that live high up in the Andes. “Since the 2000s, the traditional handicrafts in the Quechua communities have been increasingly lost because there are only a few buyers left. The communities have forgotten our craft. Our goal is to reconnect the people with our tradition and support them to sell their self-produced garments.” – Rubén Caryamarca
We asked Mrs. Isabelle what Achiy means to her. Achiy is Quechua (the language of the Incas) for “enjoy”.
“To do what I love. When you love something, you enjoy it. I love working together with my family.“