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Fair Trade Producer - Mama Ursula, Lima, Peru

Mama Ursula lives and works in Lima, where she is committed to keeping alive the traditional craft skills she learned from her family in a remote mountain area of Peru.


She manages a project that improves the lives of local women by providing them with skilled work and a living wage.


One of the founding members of the shanty town community Luis Felipe de la Casas, Mama Ursula has made ends meet for twenty years by cooking delicious food on her market stall.


Using generations-old Peruvian techniques learned from her aunt, Mama Ursula took up weaving as a way of making a sustainable income.


She remains a much loved and respected character in the neighbourhood and is well known, despite her own hardship, for her incredible generosity.


The hand-woven jute and hemp belts she creates can be viewed here :-



The money she has earned making the belts has enabled Mama Ursula to pay for an urgent operation, make improvements to her home, and invest in new equipment for her market stall business.


Keen to pass on the opportunity of fairly paid work to her friends and neighbours, she is teaching them the techniques and design skills she has learned, and thanks to her enterprising efforts, The Mama Ursula Project now provides a living wage to eight local women.


"It is important to me that the skills that have been passed down through my family are kept alive, and are helping improve conditions for my community here in Lima," says Mama Ursula.

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Taken on March 8, 2010