Primitiva and the President

Primitiva Castaya Quispe co-presents Aymara textiles to President Evo Morales

Primitiva Castaya Quispe felt honored and gratified to co-present garments made by her Aymara textiles class to President Evo Morales during his visit to her school.

Primitiva is studying textile engineering at the “Tupak Katari Indigenous Amyara Bolivian University”, where she’s learning to produce textiles with traditional Aymara cultural symbols, using both traditional and contemporary technology. 

Her class was chosen to design textiles for the president, and Primitiva and a classmate presented them in person.  “It was a great honor and I was very happy to have this opportunity. The President encouraged us and thanked us for the gift we made him.”

Primitiva’s studies link traditional Aymara arts to international organizations that can spread appreciation for their beauty as well as provide markets. 

Thanks to the scholarship support, Primitiva was able to buy the fabrics, yarns, and other materials needed for her classes.

She carries chopsticks to manipulate the yarns on the knitting machine, and tells us she appreciates using the machine because it makes her more productive.

For one class, Primitiva and her classmates designed and made fashionable dresses incorporating traditional Aymara themes.  The candidates for Miss La Paz modeled the clothing in a fashion show.  A number of organizations attended the show and offered their congratulations to the students.

Primitiva and Lourdes also participated in an international textiles fair where the students’ designs were displayed and modeled, this time by Miss Sucre candidates.

Primitiva returned to her
family home in the Andean fall to help with the potato harvest. They worked from early morning to night harvesting potatoes and turning them into chuños ("freeze-dried" potatoes). At night they shared a feast and Primitiva enjoyed having the whole family united and giving thanks to God. 

She and Lourdes attend The Holiness Friends Church in Karcapata.  As a service, they clean the church each week and provide flowers for the altar.