"From the ravine to the Puna"
Entering our third week of travel, we agreed to lunch with Vicenta, a craftswoman from the Esperanza Women's Group, a delicious empanadas of meat cut with a knife, commonly called "jujeñas" to the little house of the Church of Iruya, where the priest He had kindly made us a place to spend the night before. After talking about the current projects and enjoying the landscapes that the north offered us at each step, we returned to Humahuaca where we met up with Marcelina to finish packing everything we bought from the local crafts. Finished this task, we went through a street with worn cobblestones and high walls towards Manos Andinas.
Ten minutes walk, we could see two women of small size and colorful clothes, who looked forward to our arrival. Their names were Benita and Santusa. There they had prepared the order that we had previously made: Tulmas, ponchos, shawls and wool scarves. Once the order was collected, we ended the day by visiting Sebastián, a tireless collaborator of Cáritas, who welcomed us to his restaurant and chatted about the reality of the people of Jujuy. The end of that day was full of tiredness from so much walking, but above all from a feeling of happiness that embraced us and overwhelmed us for having achieved everything we had set out to begin this northern journey.
Having passed through the night, the sun of the following morning was embedded in our eyes warning us that it was time to continue. We returned to the store of Manos Andinas to collect the boxes that would be sent to Buenos Aires to market the products. We said goodbye with a warm hug and a sincere one until soon, to go to Purmamarca and imitate what we had just done, collect more merchandise. From this magical town full of colorful corners, we continue on our way to Salinas Grandes, where the landscape invited us to make a photographic production with the Andean garments as protagonists, so that the people who follow and support this organization can be informed and up-to-date about the crafts available. Upon arriving at Las Salinas, we were surprised to see an assembly of the Andean communities claiming for the indiscriminate extraction of lithium. We were able to speak and be part of that important moment for the people who live there and suffer from these systematic practices, without any control.When we started the return, and we moved away from that immense sea of ??whitish salts, we were clear about our next destination: Susques, a town in the Argentine Puna west of the province of Jujuy. Once we arrived, we met Adela, one of the artisans of the Airampo Association and an expert weaver in llama and vicuña wool, who guided us towards gloves, stockings and scarves, in the meantime to choose. While we finished our work here, before returning to Humahuaca we did not want to stop visiting and say hello to our dear friend Nila Calpanchay, who is the former president of Airampo, as well as being part of the school that met us that afternoon. We shared with her a short but pleasant chat with the sun falling behind us, indicative that it was time to return. Between kisses and hugs we said goodbye to Nila, starting the way back to Humahuaca.
The next morning we would take the flight to Buenos Aires. But this return did not find us the same as our arrival, we were transformed, renewed to continue fighting for our ideals, carrying 30kg of handmade yarn from Manos Andinas direct to our stores. While we know that there is always something to do, with each trip we get a little closer to our ultimate goal, knowing on the way unique artists and crafts that rely on Art and Hope to have a present and a better future.