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Marcia Haas Mazria
|Assignment(s)||Small Business Development,Other|
|From US state||Florida|
|From US town/city||Miami Beach|
|Marcia Mazria started in Peru 1964|
|Nancy Holt, Marcia Mazria|
|Region: Arequipa Province|
|Walter Jackson III, John Paul James, Marcia Mazria|
|Other in Peru:25px|
|Edward Glab, Walter Jackson III, John Paul James, Marcia Mazria|
|Business in Peru:|
|Other Volunteers who served in Peru
|Ralph Appelbaum, Paul Bellerjeau, Marie Clutterbuck, Steve Elliot, Edward Glab, Gail Gross, James Hoffman, Nancy Holt, Walter Jackson III, John Paul James, Monica Lyons Torres, Marcia Mazria, Dale Miller, Dennis Pfost, Hugh Pickens … further results|
|Projects in Peru
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My assignment was a response to a request from the Office of Artisan Industry (in the Small Business Division of the Development and Rehabilitation Agency) in the city and province of Arequipa, Peru.
Having completed just the first two years of a BA in Fashion Design at Pratt Institute in New York, and enchanted by the diversity of skills of the majority of Peruvian women living in poverty - spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, embroidery, sewing and leather work - I developed several cooperative groups that utilized those skills to create an income for their families.
This included hand-spun and woven alpaca and wool, traditional blankets and ponchos form the Andes, crocheted and hand-assembled feather flowers from the Amazon region.
I created and designed leather products and clothing that would appeal to the fashionable population who could afford it, while providing a livelihood to those that needed it most but didn't have the design or marketing skills necessary for success.
I worked with the limited seed money of the local government-supported artisan development agencies in Puno, Cuzco and Lima, and the products being developed of Peace Corps volunteers in Ayacucho, Puno and Juliaca to incorporate in the 60+garment designs I created for a series of promotional fashion shows. With the building momentum, I gathered support from Peruvian manufacturers of yarns, textiles, shoes, small leather goods and jewelry.
My two years culminated in national media coverage that focused on the products created by the co-ops and in a fashion show that engaged the top Peruvian designers using those same products and sponsored by the sister of the country's President. More importantly, the demand for those products has continued to increase in the following decades - generating income for those women.
I learned much about myself, gained confidence in my abilities and a greater understanding of the politics and social organization of my own country - invaluable.