WHO is UMA?
We are a non-profit organization created to assist the skilled
weavers in “The Center Yanapasiñani Bolivia”. We work with
eight weaver associations in the city of El Alto, Bolivia – one
the world’s highest urban centers, at 4150 meters.
El Alto has grown as more Bolivianos migrate to the cities
from the rural areas. Life in El Alto is not easy – summer
temperatures are less that 20C – and most have limited
education. However, it is a tradition amongst families to do
handwork, such as knitting, crocheting and macramé.
UMA DESIGN SRL. was
created to promote the
work of the artisan
associations in the domestic
and international markets.
We transform Bolivian
alpaca fibre into exclusive
designs – inspired by
indigenous traditions and our
surroundings. Garments are
produced on knitting
machines and finished by
hand with crochet and
Amtabol was formed by women and
men artisans to export alpaca garments and
to achieve a better quality of life.
We strive to produce export quality handmade garments for the domestic
and international markets.
Our commitment is to provide artisanal quality garments, with a dedication
to service and a responsibility to meet the needs of our customers.
We started in November 2010, to produce export-quality end
Thanks to the training provided by the
Center Yanapasiñani Bolivia, women and
men have developed skills in
alpaca garment knitting, using innovative design trends that are
exclusive and seasonal.
To be recognized as a
successful business with innovative designs in alpaca.
To satisfy customer demand with innovative and competitive designs.
TECUBOL was founded in October 2011
after being trained by the Center
Our name comes from the combination
between the height of The El Alto City,
the level to which we want to reach, the
place of growth Alpaca, and
fundamentally the quality offered in our
Born on the high summit of Bolivia, we
formed to improve the quality of life of
To develop quality garments while
fulfilling the dreams of our
To be a responsible company,
qualified, working in teams,
recognized for our quality
garments locally and
EMAREA Association, came to life
in June 2011. Our name means
"Company Artisan El Alto“.
Through training offered by the
Center Yanapasiñani Bolivia, we
were able to realize our dream to
develop skills in weaving
machines that would generate
more income for our families.
To produce garments
with innovative new
designs that would satisfy
To elaborate alpaca
handcraft garments -
organic and green - that
meet customer demands.
FIBRE COLORS ARE THE COLORS OF LIFE
Marisol Huanca Valdez, is 34 years old, she is
married, with two children.
She is proud to be able to produce alpaca
garments that she has designed.
But she has to work extra hard because of her
Four years ago Marisol was a merchant when she
nearly lost her life on the infamous death road to
Yungas in La Paz Bolivia.
Sadly the accident left the right side of her body partially paralyzed. Even in this situation, she has not lost
the desire to do something that she has always loved - weaving.
"I'm very proud because with my skill in weaving, I can make clothing for neighbors, while making an
income for my family. As a result, I have bought shoes and school supplies for my children".
Marisol Huanca is the most cheerful and enthusiastic weaver, always gets a smile from her companions, is
encouraging to strengthen the bonds of her association.
About to complete her training in the "Draft Education and Training for Artisan Alpaca Textile Exports“, she
wants her work to be unique She says: “When I see the beautiful colors of the fibre I want the same colors
to reflect the hopes of my life"
DAUGHTER BRINGS NEW LIFE TO
Fabiana is a member of the Amitbol Association Srl and is now a
trainer, teaching with determination and enthusiasm the last
module for the association where the group completed designs
for their new collection.
Fabiana Paye, is 24 years old, learned and perfected her craft in
2010 when she decided to enroll by choice in the weaving course
offered by the Center Yanapasiñani Bolivia.
She relates that the first day she arrived very excited to class. In
her learning she encountered many difficulties. On one occasion
she was in tears when knitting the neck of a sweater and was
about to give up, but she said: This neck is not going to win .
After much work, she managed to get the perfect the piece and
now teaches other women.
She forever remembers the wise words of hers father Mr. Juan,
a shoemaker, and the love of her mother, Mrs. Josefa, a
housewife. Both gave her moral support and she is rewarded
with their affection. In return they benefit from the economic
security Fabiana has provided to her parents and three brothers.
“My brothers appreciate my financial support, because they can
buy what they need for school. They want to be professionals
and not like me that I could not finish school.” “Rather, I'm also
teaching them weaving” she says with a proud smile.
Fabiana remembers the first gift her mother gave her was a bag, because
she was carrying her weaving supplies in a plastic bag. Now your bag is
well loved and cared for much , says her mother with watery eyes,
excitement and joy.
“ My dad does not like that I give him clothes; he prefers his coca leaf for
chewing”, remarks Fabiana
With great excitement Fabiana shows her most valuable contribution to her
family - the building of three rooms, for which she bought all the material with
her income as a weaver and trainer.
Between smiles and pointing at an old building, she says That room was
bedroom, kitchen and workshop, now I have a separate studio because I
have to care for fibrel garments, and now my siblings have their own bed for
WEAVING BRINGS STABILITY TO
Lidia is a weaver, a mother of four teenage children, and in
addition cares for her grandson and a girl of eight
years, because their mothers could not raise them. Lidia lives
with difficult economic circumstances.
Lidia has taken on the responsibility to educate each of
them, plus providing their food, education and clothing. Her
training and work in weaving has given her the economic and
social security she so desperately needs.
MY CONSTANT STRUGGLE
Valeria is an artisan of the Tenevan
Association Srl. She has a little daughter
1 year old; she is a single mother and
receives no financial support. She lives
in one room with her daughter, parents
and siblings; this room serves as a
bedroom, kitchen, living room and
even her small workshop, where she
Valeria shows that life gave her a very
special gift - her daughter. However,
she faces continuous battles but her
weaving gives her hope for a better
MAKING MY DREAM COME
Nancy Calle is an artisan of Kaytu Kurmy
Association. She is a single mother of a six
year old son, who is her inspiration to
overcome not only her own challenges
but the constant improvement of her
Her only support is the creation of alpaca
handmade garments; garments
made with a lot of creativity and high
Her goal is to have her own home to live
with her son, so she can give him a better
MANY STORIES – common desire
These cases, and many others, show a common
desire to excel despite the ups and downs of life.
For UMA it is that joy that our artisans, thanks to the
training and orders for production, have when they
tell us about their improved social and economic