"By the time I was 15, I was sure I wanted to be a weaver and learn the ancient techniques. I was so excited! And after all these years, I feel the same excitement as I did that first day."
"I was born in 1981 in a small town in Huamanga. If I had to describe myself, I'd say I'm honest, creative, stable and hardworking.
"Life hasn't been easy. My eight brothers and sisters and I lived with my parents in a small community. The most critical moment was when I was 15. Due to an accident, our house caught fire and we had to race outside to get away from the flames. We had only the clothes on our backs.
"We all set out to ask our neighbors for help and looked for any jobs we could find to recover from this disaster that occurred at the worst possible time. But the struggle to overcome these obstacles drew us closer as a family and we realized that, together, we could tackle any problem that faced us.
"My father always talked about weaving with the colors of our culture, in symmetry, and of the heritage we had received from our ancestors and the Inca themselves. They developed this art and handed it down over generations. My father always talked about this and it was a constant theme whenever we spent time with him.
"His words touched my heart. I was curious about weaving and wanted to learn how to create works of art like the Inca did in bygone times.
"So by the time I was 15, I was sure I wanted to be a weaver and learn the ancient techniques. I was so excited! And after all these years, I feel the same excitement as I did that first day.
"My teacher was a master weaver in the community and it took me almost two years to acquire the knowledge and practice I needed. Learning the technique was complicated but the passion I felt for this art made everything simpler. I worked hard every day in the workshop to capture the essence of weaving.
"I had teachers who oriented me in design and guided me as I discovered my own style and a creative voice of my own. I began to work with alpaca fleece and used the elements that nature gives us to make my own dyes. I love it because you can achieve unique designs.
"What I like most about my art are the three basics — dying, designing and weaving. It requires great patience. As a rustic art, crafted by hand, each detail requires special care in order to achieve the finished piece you want. When a rug or a tapestry is finished, it's like a dream come true. It's so satisfying to see the results of days and nights of working in a textile that meets my expectations.
"My inspiration comes from this place where I was born, where I grew up amid the incredible natural beauty of the Andes — the colors, the contrasts and the cloudless skies. The Inca culture also inspires me. They were so wise and talented in everything they left as their cultural legacy.
"Once I decided to work on my own, it took several years to establish my workshop, master the techniques and depend only on myself and my work. But I'm proud of these decisions. My father taught us that for everything we truly want, we must work very hard. We need to be persistent and stubborn, to keep on trying in spite of life's obstacles. Having clear objectives helped me move ahead and become the artist I am today.
"I feel proud to belong to such a rich culture. The Inca respected order and symmetry in their society as well as in their cosmo-vision, despite the hard times and the harsh life in the mountains. They knew how to devise ways to create their empire and they have my greatest admiration. I pay tribute to them through my weaving and I want the world to know more about us and to connect through our art.
"One of my greatest dreams is to cross borders with my work, to be able to teach courses and show how we can create unique textiles using a rustic loom. I hope my weavings will decorate the most impressive interiors here and abroad."