Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by the community with a warm cup of tea. The day will kick off with a workshop led by local women during which they will share their ancestral knowledge, and tell you more about the culture and traditions of the Quechua people, while explaining the entire weaving process. They will show you how alpaca or sheep wool is spun into yarn by hand, before giving it a try yourself!
You will then learn how different local plants and materials are used in the dyeing process. Artisans will then teach you how to weave a small bracelet on a backstrap loom, in a one-on-one lesson.
Later on, you will take part in the preparation of the earth oven lunch – a.k.a. Pachamanca – from A to Z. Community members will introduce you to every step of the process: from digging the perfect Pachamanca hole to building a fire and covering it with rocks to get to the appropriate cooking temperatures.
You will be adding marinated chicken, sweet potatoes, fava broad beans, and a variety of Andean potatoes and native tubers to the cooking pit once all the rocks are hot. And just like that you will become a master of the ancestral Pachamanca cooking technique.
While the Pachamanca is being cooked, you will finish up your bracelet. Then, you will participate in the food extraction from the cooking pit, before sharing it with the artisans and other community members.
After lunch, you will visit a traditional home accompanied by one of the members of the cooperative, before returning to the center where you will have the opportunity to purchase textiles directly from the women who hosted you.
Finally, you will head back down to Ollantaytambo, and make one final stop at the Awamaki store, where you will see the work of Awamaki’s women-led partners cooperatives, including contemporary accessories crafted with the artisans' textiles.