Support to Our Huaywasi Artisans

Hi Friends, Family, Huaywasi Supporters!

We’re Jill & Julie, the managers of an ethical clothing project called Huaywasi. We operate in conjunction with a larger non-profit organization, The Light and Leadership Initiative (LLI), in Huaycan, Peru. 

Due to COV-19, we’ve sadly been forced to suspend operations of the project for the foreseeable future, leaving our 7 artisans without their usual monthly orders and income they rely on. This GoFundMe page is to help the artisans recover funds lost during this time. Our goal is to raise $6,300 USD, which would be distributed directly and evenly amongst the women. This is an independent fundraiser with no direct association to LLI or Huaywasi. 

This time of uncertainty has weighed on us heavily, as we know it has for all of you. Like many small businesses, we’ve had to think carefully about how to keep Huaywasi afloat and how to continue giving artisans work. LLI has done everything it could to try to work out different scenarios where Huaywasi could continue operations, but in the end our parent non-profit is focusing on maintaining their core educational programs while navigating this new reality. While we did everything in power, it became unrealistic to move forward as not only have our suppliers of raw materials (fabric, yarn, etc.) been shut down by orders of the Peruvian government, but many of our profitable opportunities at summer fairs in the Chicagoland area have been cancelled. 

It’s heartbreaking to put the project on an indefinite hold, as the seven artisans have worked so closely with us and the larger organization over many years. We care deeply for each of these women, and feel that without an income it will be economically detrimental. They’re new mothers. They’re trying to send their daughters to university. They’re entrepreneurs trying to keep their other businesses afloat. They’re grandmothers feeding not only their children but also their grandchildren. These women work hard to support their families, and for most, Huaywasi is their main source of income. 

We’re reaching out to our community to ask for help, in hopes that collectively we can raise the funds needed to keep these women going until Huaywasi is back on its feet and/or the current situation improves to where other forms of work would be made available to them. To give an update on the situation in Peru, we are on national lockdown (i.e. cannot leave the house other than for groceries, medicine, or health emergencies) until at least the middle of April. We thank you for your generosity in advance, even if that extends only as far as a share or a like. We’re all in this together <3

We calculated out $6,300 USD using a couple different numbers. We wanted to attempt to raise 3 months of what would be considered a normal Peruvian salary for all seven artisans. Monthly minimum wage in Peru is 930 soles, so we rounded up to create a baseline goal of 1,000 soles (~$300 USD) per month per artisan. 

$300 USD x 3 months x 7 women = $6,300 USD in total

We wanted to clarify that the amount raised in this account, regardless of the goal, will be withdrawn monthly and distributed evenly amongst the artisans using PayPal, PayPal’s secure international transfer service Zoom, and artisan bank accounts.

Another point to clarity is that Huaywasi’s online store will remain fully functional and we still welcome purchases there ( All proceeds from those purchases go towards supporting The Light and Leadership Initiative. This independent fundraiser is essentially a way to provide artisans with emergency funds, as they have already been paid for the products that are currently available on our website.

We’re thankful for any amount of donation or sharing our story to try to help the talented women that have been the face of the Huaywasi project for the last 4 years, and hopefully for many years to come!

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  • Alexander Cheung 
    • $50 
    • 19 mos
  • Miji Kim 
    • $50 
    • 19 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 20 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $27 
    • 21 mos
  • Melanie von Stein 
    • $20 
    • 21 mos
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Jillian Schneider 
Raised $2,345 from 18 donations
Covington, KY
Julie James 
Team member
Raised $425 from 8 donations
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