Mery Aguilar is from Lima and is 33 years old. She lives with her parents and younger brother, Angel. Mery’s parents adopted Angel at three months old from a neighbor who was unable to care for him. To Mery, he has become “a brother of the heart.”
Mery works with Minga making ceramics for use in jewelry and as decorative household items. The ceramics are made using potter’s clay that is turned into a liquid using water and silicate, and then put into a mold to dry. Before it is completely dry, it is removed from the mold so that details can be cut or carved into the piece to give it more shape. Finally, it is painted.
Mery learned this work from her sister about 10 years ago, and currently heads the business that works with eight artisans in the workshop. Because her parents no longer work, she is responsible for maintaining her family’s household on the income she earns with her ceramics, and this is a strong motivator to continue learning. While she has learned a lot from her past 10 years of experience, she wants to continue studying business to train herself more, saying that “one never stops learning.”