Meet Our Knitters

Margarita Perea- Leader of the Knitting Group- 54 “More than coworkers, we are friends.  You know how difficult it is to find a job as you get older, so this is a good place to earn some money and feel productive.  All these women are productive and they feel good about that… My parents have influenced me with strong ideals. At times when I would tell my mom to take some time to rest she would answer, ‘I’ll rest when I’m dead’.  I guess [she’s] where i get my strength from”.

Juana "Juanita" Sanchez, Age 62. “Wherever I go I knit.  Where I’m in the car, or bus, having a conversation… it can go with me anywhere.  For me it’s my work but it’s also relaxing. Honestly, it’s all about knitting [laughs].  When I’m not in my house, I clean my home and organize, cook. But usually I prefer to spend my time knitting or practicing new techniques”.

Juana Rojas Chavez, 60. “I was studying at the military school but it was very expensive for me.  So knitting gave me the opportunity to afford an education. I’m very happy to work for a formal company, with the ability to work close to home.  I’m able to arrive to work easily, I live with my daughter, just up the hill from Margarita [pointing to a small hill within 20 yards]”.

“I thank God for this community.  I feel very good here. We’ve known each other for so many years now.  We share ideas and teach each other. Those of us who have stayed have learned to understand each other and here we are”.

Clotilde Salas Angeles, 53 “There aren’t any [formal] job opportunities for us in this area.  If we didn’t have this work, mothers here would have to abandon their children so that they could go to the center [of Lima].  This job allows mother to work and be with their children, or at least near them. It’s so important to have this opportunity for mothers.  I am thankful for this ability to work and be able to support my children. Jobs like these, where we can work at home, should be available all over, not just for a small group of women”.

Marta Perea, 53. “My favorite thing to do is cook!  Sometimes I cook for the women. I love to cook all the traditional Peruvian dishes- I love to cook everything!  Peru is a country full of love. Were friendly, loving people. And everything here is delicious. When foreigners arrive, they fall in love.  My country is beautiful and I invite everyone to visit. And I’ll cook [laughs]”.

Dora Sanchez, 60. “I love having a place where I can share my knowledge and ideas.  The atmosphere is positive and we all rely on each other. Whenever I have free time I keep knitting.  This is a form of therapy for me and it really helps me out”.

Isabel Pelaez, 60. “I think knitting has helped me develop emotional and physical health.  It is an amazing distraction that gives me a reason to be active on a daily basis.  I was married from an early age, taking care of the kids all the time. I never had a chance to work until now, so it feels very rewarding.  You don’t just knit a hat, you test it and measure it until it’s perfect, each one of them. So it keeps you mentally active”.