A Note from our Founder, Ashli Akins What a year! We at Mosqoy are exhausted. We wondered why, until looking back at this list, realizing how much happened this past year. It is interesting to reflect back on our strategic planning days a few years ago and ask ourselves the key question: Does the practice match the theory? In some ways, we have surpassed where we thought we would be by now (i.e. our Mosqoy Peruvian Textiles!); in other ways, we will have to be a bit more patient, due to funding constraints (i.e. in our Field School visions); and in other areas, we are exactly on target (in our ambitious Youth Program plans). In the midst of it all, there are always (beautifully happy) surprises - connections with new people, projects, and partnerships - that lead us to new places that we had never dreamed possible. This is 2020 for us... A year already packed with newness - a new house, new students, new curriculum, new textile collection, a new Indigenous knowledge exchange, new tour partnerships, new staff and volunteers. And yet, so much of our 14-year history remains the same; this is our anchor. Our breath of fresh air that allows us to accept all of this newness with curiosity and inspiration - our values, our partnering communities, our amazing family of supporters, our raison d'être. In 2020, may you too find the balance between anchoring yourself in the old and inspiring yourself in the new. And may we ride along this journey together, finding innovative ways to continue fostering the dreams of our partnering communities, students, and weavers. Thank you for 2019. It was a beautiful full year, and we collectively made it to this moment together. With gratitude, Ashli Looking forward to 2020… New Student Cohort Selected! After a rigorous selection process, we have selected our new cohort of 9 scholarship students from 6 different remote highland communities across the Cusco region to enter our Mosqoy Youth Program! They are extraordinarily deserving students, and we are so excited to introduce you to them as they start their studies with us in March!
We found the Casa Mosqoy of our dreams!
We've just secured the lease and will be completing renovations to transform Casa Mosqoy into the perfect place to learn, study, and grow. It will act as our cultural safehouse - a "home away from home" - for our scholarship students who come from rural Quechua communities, as well as our office, store, and space to host volunteers, workshops, and events. Learn more about the space here.
Our Annual Giving Campaign is still ongoing, with a goal of $15,000. Through this campaign, you can give dreams by donating to Mosqoy's work in the Andean mountains of Peru. The Annual Giving Campaign kicked off in November, and we’re so grateful for the support it’s received so far. We only have a couple of weeks left, and we’re so close! Can you help us reach our goal? Donate here.
Mosqoy Youth Program student, Silvia, is nearing graduation! Silvia is now living comfortably and independently on her own, and is in her final semester with Mosqoy, studying Hotel Administration. She intends to graduate in the summer of 2020.
Indigenous Mapping Workshop to be held this April
As part of Ashli’s PhD project on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in an era of rapid economic change, Mosqoy is supporting The Firelight Group’s first-ever Latin American Indigenous Mapping Workshop, sponsored by Google and National Geographic, to be held April 3-5, 2020, in Huaran. This workshop will allow community leaders, promoters, and weavers involved in the textile revitalization movement to come together to co-create a fair-trade map of the region to teach travelers and consumers where they can buy textiles to directly support artisans, while learning new mapping skills to tell their own histories about their land.
So many textile fairs!
In 2019, Mosqoy Peruvian Textiles participated in 12 fairs, selling our fair-trade textiles and sharing the stories behind them with our communities in Peru and Canada. There are a lot of fairs already confirmed for 2020 in Canada, including Fibres West in Cloverdale in March, and Fern Fest and Car-Free Day in June in Victoria. For more upcoming fairs, see the Fairs page on our website.
Looking back on a year of growth, impact, and change Welcome! Two key members joined our team in 2019. Our new Mosqoy Youth Program manager, Andrea Barrientos, just started working with us in December. We also opened up a new position last year - Community Facilitator - which Anshela Paravecino Kehuarucho has been filling, working with all three of our programs and partnering communities, in Quechua and Spanish, to build and maintain positive relationships. We also welcomed our long-term volunteer, Lisa Slager, as a new Board Member this year! Check out their profiles here. Our Annual Chocolatada During the holidays, the Mosqoy team and our partners at LAFF trekked deep into the Inca Trail to the remote community of Huayllabamba (hometown of our student, Silvia!). As per Peruvian tradition, we shared Paneton (fruit cake) and hot chocolate, and passed out donated goods such as school supplies, warm clothes, toys, and stuffed animals to children who receive very little.
In December 2019, a Mosqoy Youth Program student, Nohemi Orihuela from the community of Soccma, graduated from the Khipu Institute. With her new degree, Nohemi is a professional Accountant. Congratulations Nohemi, and good luck in the next steps of your bright path!
Our Brewery fundraiser was a success!
We hosted our annual party and raffle on November 30th at the Sacred Valley Brewery, with good food, local craft beer, games, and raffle prizes from our amazing partners in Cusco and the Sacred Valley!
Our Founder, Ashli Akins, became a National Geographic Explorer! In October, Ashli was awarded a National Geographic grant for her doctoral project, “Safeguarding Quechua textiles in an era of rapid economic change,” in collaboration with Mosqoy and our partnering communities. Congratulations!
Mosqoy Peruvian textiles launched a new collection and catalogue! As always, all of our products are made with fair-trade principles and use natural dyes and yarn. In 2019, our Etsy sales increased by 168%! Huge shout-out to our Mosqoy Peruvian Textiles Manager, Cusi, for her hard work on this collection, which features over 20 new products! We’re excited to show off these new items in upcoming fairs and on our Etsy Site!
Our very own Mosqoy Crepe!
We now have our a "Mosqoy Crepe" on the menu at Crepería Backpacker La Bo'Min Cusco! It's not only delicious - with dark chocolate, sea salt, and aguaymanto - but a portion of the proceeds also supports Mosqoy!
July was #MosqoyMemberMonth In July, we celebrated 13 years as an organization and encouraged our supporters to join us by becoming a Mosqoy Member. Throughout #MosqoyMemberMonth, we received so many notes of support from kind and passionate people. Thank you to everyone who became a member or donated to our cause. If you’d still like to become a Mosqoy member, please visit our website here.
Canada Summer Jobs Grant Thanks to the amazing continued support of Canada Summer Jobs, we were able to host three outstanding summer interns in our offices in Victoria, BC, who supported our development, marketing, and field school teams. Thank you, Justine, Kate, and Travis!
We held our annual Encuentro in Huaran, with weavers from all 5 partnering communities joining together to share their skills, knowledge, and expertise with each other. The colour-combination workshops were a huge hit!
Mosqoy was awarded a $15,000 Firelight Grant We received a $15,000 grant from The Firelight Group to support our curriculum development project, which produced a unique Mosqoy curriculum designed for both our scholarship students and weavers. We will be launching our curriculum in 2020. Thank you so much to The Firelight Group for their continued support!
Last but certainly not least, thank you to our donors, members, partners, team, and volunteers who make our Mosqoy Family the beautiful, unique, and thriving family that it is. Our team is truly incredible — thank you to the passionate and talented people who power this organization everyday, and to those who back them. It is because you believe in us that we are able to continue to do the work that we do.
We can’t wait to keep learning and growing with you in 2020. And to continue to make dreams come true, one student and weaver at a time.