When and how did you actually start?
In the early 1980s, a Colombian-German mission came to show us how to work with fique yarn. I set up a house of crafts in Curití alongside 20 others, but some setbacks arose and it failed, so I began crafting mochila bags and hats, which captured people’s attention.
When did you open your own workshop?
Although my first venture had not worked out, I brought together a group of craftspeople from Curití, Barichara, and Mogotes. We created an association named Areagua, which I still cherish. This name fills me with pride.
©Artesanías de Colombia
What are your specialisations?
My secret is dyeing the fique: a process I have perfected over decades. I have discovered that the sun radiance and “happiness” produce the best vivid and pastel hues, while grey and black dyes are best used on darker days.
What is a memorable moment in your professional life?
I won the Craftsmanship Mastery Medal in the Master Artisan category in 2015. This is an award given by Artesanías de Colombia, which recognizes outstanding artisanal work with a high level of excellence and for preserving artisan skills.