This year we have embarked on a new adventure in one of our ministry sites. We are working with a small group of 5 ladies to make children's books, which we hope to eventually sell in the US to provide support for these ladies and their families. But these aren't just any children's books - these are hand-made cloth activity books, made to be fun, interactive, and a throw-along-in-the-car-to-keep-the-kids-busy kind of thing. These books are going to be awesome!
The idea for this project came from Emilee, a friend of ours in California. Emilee has a similar activity book at her house which was hers from when she was little. Her little niece absolutely loves coming over to play with it. So we got to talking...what if we could produce these books and create jobs for people in a community in need? Awesome. So we set to work.
First, we met with Pastor Sergio and his wife in Pachacutec. We felt they would be the best ones to make the decision about which ladies would be offered this opportunity. While there were many ladies who were interested in participating, the pastor and his wife wanted to prioritize the ladies who do not currently have a steady source of income for their families.
Next, we went and talked to the ladies about the project and what would be involved. They were all so excited to get started! Here is our first meeting:
Once the team was formed, our first task was going to Gamarra to find the materials for the first books. Gamarra is a mecca for everything textiles in Peru. It's a crazy, crowded, overwhelming place, and it provided an interesting background for our grand scavenger hunt for supplies. We spent hours searching for fabric, buttons, snaps, ribbons, borders, patches, thread, needles...you name it!
After our adventure in Gamarra, we met back at the church a few days later to start going through our supplies and getting them ready for action. Here, the ladies were experimenting with how to make the hands on the clock for one of the pages.
Here are some of the accessories for one of the pages the ladies are most excited about making - fruits in a basket! We went through several stores looked through tons of different fruit patches before we finally found these happy little guys.
The ladies had to learn how to use this little machine, which will be used on a few of the different pages for attaching snaps, eyelets, and other small accessories safely. They are all so excited to learn new things - it's awesome.
There is still much work to be done, but it's exciting to see that this project is underway. Once we have some sample books, we'll definitely put pictures up so you can see them! We can't wait!
We hope and pray that this would be not only a way for these women to provide for their families, but also a way that they can learn and grow as women and as professionals. We would appreciate your prayers for these ladies and for this project. We know there will be challenges along the way, but we are convinced that these books will be so worth it.
Hugs from Pachacutec,
Erin and Pepe
We have had the privilege of serving in Peru since 2003. We partner with four different ministries throughout Peru: two in the Lima area, one in the Andes mountains, and one in the Amazon jungle.