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Academic supports alpaca farmers

Wednesday 14 December 2016

alpacas-mainbody-1A kind-hearted academic at the University of St Andrews is helping Bolivian alpaca farmers support their family, by selling their hand-crafted woollen goods.

Jonathan Alderman, a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Social Anthropology, spent time living with the family while studying the indigenous cultures of the Bolivian Highlands.

During his time with the Kallawaya people, Jonathan got to know one particular family well and was keen to help support their farming and woollens business.

He now has a selection of scarves, hats and other items the family makes in their home in the Andes mountains.

He said: “Often the mother or father would be sitting on the loom, making the scarves, or be knitting by hand using the wool from their alpacas, which they would then take to market in La Paz – the nearest city – or to restaurants to sell to customers.

“I bought some to take home as presents for family and friends and they were so popular I had to order more.”

‌Jonathan has a selection of scarves and other items still for sale, which can be seen on his Facebook page, with proceeds going straight back to the family.

‌He said: “They don’t have much money so I’m more than happy to help them. Each item takes up to three days to make and would make a lovely thoughtful Christmas present.”t back to the family in the Bolivian highlands.

Jonathan can be contacted by email on ja436@st-andrews.ac.uk.


Picture captions
This page: Jonathan Alderman with members of the Mamani Flores family at a craft fair in the city of La Paz
News features and archive page: Petrona Mamani Flores working on the loom at the family home in the highland community of Moyapampa 

Notes to news editors
Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office, contactable on 01334 467310/462530 or proffice@st-andrews.ac.uk.