Mosqoy started in 2006. Over a decade later, it is still growing, little by little, through remarkable volunteer hours and donations. We have supported over 70 youth to attend post-secondary educational institutes, and over 150 weavers through capacity-building workshops and fair-trade market outlets. We have spoken to thousands of youth across North America about responsible travel and consumption. Two of our alumni are now on our Peru Board of Directors.
April – 21-year-old Ashli Akins arrives in Ollantaytambo, Peru, for the first time, as part of a seven-month solo backpacking trip across Central and South America. While living with a local family, she volunteers at a local museum as an art teacher for disadvantaged youth and as a “llama” to carry traditional textiles to and from highland Quechua communities.
May – Through her work with weavers in the Patakancha Valley, Ashli hears about the stories of cultural loss from elders in the region. Through her social scene, she hears her friends struggling to obtain jobs and continue their education.
June – Weavers ask Ashli to assist them by finding fair-trade markets for their textiles. Ashli agrees to do what she can (what is now the Q’ente Textile Program), as long as all of the profits return to the communities to support their long-term socioeconomic goals. One of these goals proves to be education. Thus, in response to requests of several youth in the community of Ollantaytambo, as well as community leaders and elders, Ashli and her friend – local Colegio Ollantay graduate, Raul Cobos Mejia – start the T’ikary Youth Program (then called the Youth Bank for the Future).
July – The first cohort of 20 T’ikary Youth Program scholarship students are selected from over 100 applications at the local high school, Colegio Ollantay.
July 22 – Mosqoy hosts its commencement event (what is now celebrated as Mosqoy’s birthday!). Here, our scholarship students share beautiful speeches, weavers attend with their hand-woven products, and mothers hike down from their campesino communities to provide a delicious Andean feast. What seemed to be a small community project pivots into an international organization, and on this day, Ashli realizes that Mosqoy will become her life’s work. (Watch Ashli’s TedX Talk: “Unfulfilled Promises: Cultural shrapnel of a traveler” to learn more about this pivotal moment.)
September – Ashli returns to Victoria, Canada, where she recruits volunteers and supporters, and creates a small but dedicated team of passionate Mosqoyites. Through her lectures and workshops in classes over the next few months, Ashli and other volunteers notice a shift in high-school and university students’ consciousness when hearing about the unperceived impacts of their daily decisions, and the invisible realities of development. Ashli decides to formalize these positive conversations, creating Mosqoy’s third and final program, what is now the Mink’a Knowledge Exchange Program.
January – Because of amazing volunteer support, fundraising, and partnerships, the first cohort of scholarship students move into their first rented Casa Mosqoy and enrol in their first semester of post-secondary education! Raul takes over as T’ikary Youth Program’s first volunteer resident advisor.
October – Mosqoy: Sacred Valley Youth Fund becomes an official Canadian registered charitable organization.
November – We host our first annual Fall Environmental Studies Textile Fair, in collaboration with the University of Victoria’s School of Environmental Studies.
September – Ashli receives the Vicky Husband Award for outstanding volunteer efforts in environmental protection, for her work with Mosqoy’s Q’ente Textile Program. Through this award, she and Vicky become close friends, and Vicky becomes a long-term supporter or “godmother” to Mosqoy.
December – Due to lack of financial support and student sponsors, we cannot enroll all of our selected sponsorship students this year, so we put four of the 15 on a waitlist. The other scholarship students do not want to start the semester without their peers, so they collectively rally to raise the remainder of the funds for their peers’ first semester of school, demonstrating true compassion, reciprocity, and leadership.
June - Because of increased presence of new like-minded NGOs that begin sprouting up in the region, combined with increased tourism traffic, we see that our support for fair-trade market outlets is better used in lesser served, more isolated communities. We respond to requests to work with remote weaving communities in the Mapacho River Valley.
August - Through the friendship of Frida Delgado Chirinos and the efforts of new Board member Sarah Confer, we begin supporting capacity-building initiatives with start-up weaving cooperatives of Huaran and Cancha Cancha.
December - Due to the efforts of English-language teacher Gerry Luton, our Ambassadorship is launched, and Rolando Auccapuri Iturriaga spends a semester at the University of Victoria in Canada as our first Ambassador.
January – As a practicum for her International Business Administration degree, T’ikary Youth Program scholarship student Elizabeth Jaimes Canal works as an intern for the Q’ente Textile Program for two semesters.
March – Our textile program (Mosqoy’s first social enterprise) is officially registered as a B.C. not-for-profit society, Q’ente Textile Revitalization Society. Mosqoy also receives its first annual Canada Summer Jobs grant, allowing us to hire Canadian students as paid interns each summer.
May – Due to circumstances beyond our
control, the T’ikary Youth Program is left
without a leader, so our students step up to keep the project alive. Four senior students (Elvira Huaman Guerra, Ebhert Alvarez Huaman, Rolando Auccapuri Iturriaga, and Adrian Jimenez Suma) voluntarily take over the leadership of the program to co-manage it while finishing their studies, and stay on as co-managers for one year after they graduate. Their leadership skills and reciprocity to the program inspire values that we continue to use in Casa Mosqoy to this day, and exemplify their growth from teenage high-school students to true community leaders.
June – Our first cohort of students graduate from their professional degrees and the Mosqoy program! We hold a community graduation ceremony and invite only those who are directly impacted by the students’ education; 250 people attend.
October – We win the Juror’s Choice Award at the World Art Market, in the textile category, for a manta that was produced in the highland community of Chahuaytire.
January – Thanks to a global video conference by Tim Kitchen, we establish a long-term connection with Ms. Laurie Renton’s grade three class of Battalion Park Elementary School, who fundraises for the Q’enqo Library and whose Peru curriculum comes alive through Mosqoy’s virtual lessons.
March – Mosqoy Peruvian Textiles launches its new product lines – a variety of high-quality textiles in the Traditional, Innovative, and Accessory Lines.
March – After over a year of hard work, we inaugurate the Q’enqo Library!
March - Our programs are growing fast, and the demand for them is too high to continue operating entirely as a volunteer team. We hire our first paid staff members, Kristina Zoller and Juan Clavijo.
December – We host our first gala at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC, with National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Wade Davis, as our keynote speaker. With over 200 guests in attendance and a delicious four-course sustainable dinner, this gala pivots us into a new era of fundraising and introduces us to a new family of supporters.
December – The Mink’a Knowledge Exchange Program creates a new department, Research & Advocacy, thanks to Alison Root’s advice, to elevate our impact globally.
July – We celebrate 10 years of service and existence! We hold a community celebration in Ollantaytambo, Peru, one block away from our commencement event 10 years prior, as well as a celebratory gala in Victoria, Canada, later this year.
August - After 10 years of service, Ashli resigns as Executive Director and becomes Mosqoy’s Board president.
September – We launch our new brand, including our new logo, re-branded Quechua names for our programs, and a brand-new website, to begin our next decade of service!
August - Thanks to the financial support of SLASummit, Mosqoy partners with the Nueva Esperanza Weaving Association to purchase land in Parobamba! The land will be used for the construction of a communal traditional weaving centre, propagation natural-dye garden, and fair-trade retail outlet.
July – We move into our first real office in Cusco, Peru! We are part of the Ayni Center
co-working space, which hosts like-minded organizations that are dedicated to socially and
environmentally conscious missions.
August - After over a year of visioning with both Boards of Directors, advisors, team members, community members, and program alumni, we launch a new era of Mosqoy! We shift to a simpler marketing strategy and a more financially viable model. In doing so, we legally dissolve the Q’ente Textile Revitalization Society and merge under one entity, Mosqoy, with two social enterprises: Mosqoy Peruvian Textiles and Mosqoy Field School, and one charitable program: the Mosqoy Youth Program.
October – Based on our new working model and multi-year restructuring process, we
launch our new Three-Year Strategic Plan!
Long-term team members who were instrumental in helping us accomplish these milestones include Brent Akins, Julia Anderson, Christina Burns, Cara Clatanoff, Denise Decloux, Bethany Foot, Reanna McMillan, Jasmine Nielsen, Beatriz Palacios Fernandez, Sonya Rokosh, and many more!