Green Festival Speakers

Ayde Riveros Gutierrez



Ayde Riveros grew up in a rural village in the Andes that was destroyed by the many years of terrorism that plagued Peru. The violence became so bad that Ayde and her family fled to the closest city, Huancavelica. There life proved to be more peaceful but making ends meet was a constant struggle for Ayde and her husband, a construction day laborer. Ayde knitted, a skill passed down through the generations, to help provide for their three children. But she was never paid more than $5 for a sweater that took weeks of time to make.

Ayde joined together with several other women in Huancavelica facing similar challenges and formed the group, El Mercurio. They learned of Fair Trade through a local organization and soon began selling their hand knit finger puppets for over 5 times what they were previously making. Many of the knitters husbands were disgruntled about the idea of the women leaving home but upon realizing what a steady and improved income this provided, they learned to accept these changes.