Monday, February 25, 2008

Knitter's paradise

Today I went out to a little tourist site outside of town in hopes of getting some inspiration and good info. for my women about working in "co-ops." I went to Granja (Farm) Porcon. It is a co-operative made up of 400 inhabitants that began in the 70's with help from the Belgium Gov. They gave money to reforest the land with pine trees, and now 9 out of 10 Hectares is covered in pine that is used as a crop, but always reforested. It rained on us during our tour of the farm, so I don't feel like I got a good sense of how the co-op actually works (as we were rushing through), but it looked like there was multiple income generating activities besides lumber: milk products, artesian crafts, hotel and tourism. However, I was inspired by all the animals that produce wool for knitting. Pictured here is a vicuna, family of the llama. 2 lbs. of wool from the vicuna is worth anywhere between $700-1000. More than gold during the time of the Incas (and now!) Maybe this is where the women need to be investing? Vicunas for all the women!

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