“Corazón de Jesús” (Heart of Jesus) is a women’s group located in Yurak Uksh in the Andean Plateau. Yurak Uksh in Spanish means Paja Blanca or “white straw” and is a community located in the highest part of the mountain range of Chimborazo. The altitude is 13,615.5 feet above sea level. To live there is to live close to the sky/heavens.
Corazón de Jesús uses materials of the surrounding area for making beautiful and meticulously handmade products. They use plenty of natural wool and straw. What we usually call “straw” is actually the fruit an organism that grows below the ground. This body is formed of “threads” (mycelia) that grows just beneath the surface of the earth on another material, which feeds the straw (substrate). During the lifetime a shock of straw, the straw will always depend on a living organic matter for “living together ” in various ways, such as growing on a dead tree trunk or on roots of trees. It is a delicate balance of nature. When straw is chosen it undergoes these steps: processing, selection, cutting, drying, classification/sorting, weighing, receiving, storage, and marketing.
This group of 20 women are dedicated to making handicrafts such as sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, and woven straw products. Their wool is made from various animals such as alpacas, llamas, and sheep. Their woven products such as baskets are made with Cabuya.
For these women, the incomes they receive for their work is vital for their households. The women work hard as a community to create products to sell at a local, national, and even international level. They are an important cornerstone in their community, providing work and incomes to avoid migration from the area.
Products by Corazón de Jesús