16 July 2019

Support for Craftspeople in Colombia

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) provided crafts associations in four different regions of Colombia with hardware and equipment.

With the project implemented by TİKA in cooperation with Colombian Presidential Agency of International Cooperation (APC) and Colombian Art Crafts (Artesanías de Colombia), crafts associations located in Guapi, Bahia Solano, Higueron and Putumayo were provided with workshop equipment, hardware, and traditional manufacturing machines.

Traditional crafts, which are the most important parts of Colombia’s cultural heritage, are the main livelihood of especially people living in rural areas. As well as increasing the capacities of local crafts associations, the project aims to increase the tourism revenue of the country, integrate rural production into the economy, protect the cultural heritage and ensure sustainable production of authentic products.

Within the scope of the project, TİKA provided crafts associations in four different regions of Colombia with means of production. “Coopmujeres”, which is an association located in Guapi, was provided with manual and electrically operated tools. “Coopmujeres” is an association founded on the initiative of women entrepreneurs, leaders and women who are obliged to sustain their families, and it aims to ensure the active participation of women in income-generating activities.

Ruth Montalvo, a member of “Coopmujeres” Association, expressed her feelings as follows: “We would like to thank Turkey for helping us increase our knowledge of crafts and supporting the economic growth of the region.”

Afro-Colombian community was provided with production equipment

With the support provided to Oquegua Crafts Association in Choco-Bahia Solano, the Afro-Colombian society residing in the region, which has no road access and the economy of which is based on small-scale agriculture, ecological tourism and crafts, was provided with production equipment. Thanks to the new equipment, the Association achieved the necessary capacity to teach traditional crafts to younger generations.

With the equipment and means of production provided to Higueron Crafts Association located in San Onofre region in the Sucre department of Colombia, an important contribution was made to the economic entrepreneurship of Afro-Colombian local community. The crafts produced by the Association, which exhibits its crafts bearing cultural figures in national and international fairs, gained wider recognition. Alberto Blanco, a member of the Association, made the following remarks: “Our innovative production increased significantly. With TİKA’s support, our production capacity became more qualified and competitive.”

“As Higueron Crafts Association, we are grateful to Turkish people.”

Carmelo Castillo, President of the Association, expressed her gratitude for TİKA’s support as follows: “As Higueron Crafts Association, we are grateful to Turkish people. Thanks to their support and the confidence they placed in us, not only the members of our association but also the entire local community will benefit from the production.”

In Putumayao Condagua region, which is the fourth region supported by Support for Craftspeople Project, 2 traditional manufacturing machines were provided to Luiaiwasi Crafts Association, the members of which consist of locals.  The association was supported in creating high-quality crafts by increasing the production capacity.

Ana Tulia, a member of Luiaiwasi Crafts Association, made the following remarks: “Our crafts, which we’ve been producing traditionally for many years with natural yarns and raw materials, will reach more people thanks to the support of Turkish Government. This is a great and very important opportunity for us. We are grateful to Turkey for their support.”

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