On November 28th, 2015 the CTTC held the Second Gathering of Young Weavers in the prestigious school La Salle de Cusco. Once more the nine Young Weavers Groups gathered in the ancient capital of the Inca for a day of inter-community sharing and this time, competitions. Three age groups participated in four contests: Spinning, Single-sided weaving, Double-sided weaving, and Drawing. Those that did not want to compete held a weaving demonstration for the students of la Salle.
The tents of the weaving demonstration quickly filled up with kindergarten, elementary and high school students from la Salle, all eagerly asking questions and looking on as the community children worked on their weaving and spinning. When the young women of Chinchero began to offer weaving classes, la Salle students quickly formed a line that stretched back all the way to the Accha Alta weavers two tents away. As their parents came to pick them up at the end of the demonstration, the la Salle students did not want to stop weaving and their parents were happy to wait and give them more time to try their hand at Chinchero designs.
Years ago this type of inter-socioeconomic and intercultural interaction would have been unthinkable. Upper-class people from the city would not have looked twice at a traditional textile, nor allowed their children to actually learn to weave and play with children from the communities. Today, this is changing, though slowly. It was truly wonderful to see the young weavers and the la Salle students spontaneously start up a series of soccer games, running around playing like they had been doing this all their lives. It was hard getting them to stop and eat lunch!
After lunch, the young weavers divided into small groups to go on a photo scavenger hunt throughout the historic district of Cusco. They visited the Plaza de Armas with its cathedrals built on Incan temples, Qoricancha the Inca temple of the sun, and the headquarters of the CTTC, amongst other key sites. Coming back to la Salle, they finally found out who won the competitions before packing up and heading home once more to look forward to the Chocolatadas just a few weeks away.