Betsi Llaza Andía

Location: Arequipa
She doesn’t belong to any organization; independent weaver
Techniques: Hand spinning, artisanal dyes, crochet, knitting, fork weaving, machine knitting, embroidery, needlepoint, machine knitting with colca iconography, backstrap weaving with pallay
Betsi was born in 1974 in a small Camana town called San Gregorio Nicolas de Pierola, from parents from Caylloma. Because of this she went to live in the Caylloma province where her grandparents lovingly taught her everything they knew about the art of weaving.
There are moments in life that can change the course of a person, and Betsi experienced one of these moments when her son, 5 years old at the time, was in an accident and she needed stay home to take care of him. In thinking on how she could sustain herself without being able to work while her son recuperated she began to knit at home. Initially she sold hats, scarves, and pants made from wool without feeling shame over the work she created. Years later she began to teach single mothers in knit production with materials such as cotton and alpaca.
Today, thanks to Betsi’s help and training, many of her students are working for textile enterprises in the region and some have formed their own businesses. Many hold high positions such as head of textiles and some yet higher. Although Betsi herself could grow her own business, this mother is satisfied with simply being able to put food on the table for her children.