We hear such wonderful feedback from our friends and fiber fans about Manos del Uruguay yarns. We would like to take this a moment to share with you a video featuring Sofia Avila, of the CARF artisan cooperative in Fraile Muerto, Cerro Largo. In this video, you can see her work space and hear her story in her own words. As the video is in Spanish, we have provided a translation for you below.
Her name is Sofia Avila, she is a designer in the cooperative. She has been there for 37 years! She started when she was 18 because she couldn’t continue her schooling. Her mother and sister were already working at the cooperative. She has worked in dyeing for 31 years; it is the activity that called to her.
She was single when she came to the cooperative. When she married, the other artisans were there as invited guests. She wanted them there just like her family during this special moment: marrying before God. She has 3 children and they were all involved somehow in the work of the cooperative. The oldest daughter watched the younger siblings and sometimes helped Sofia in the dye shop.
There were world crises and crises in the country, but they weathered them all. She thinks Manos is a business in which every day requires hard work. She’ll be retiring in a little while and the message she wants to leave to new artisans coming in: you keep at it. You have to make your own contributions. This is an important part of the cooperative.
She was not able to finish her studies, but with her work at the cooperative, her children were able to study and to get ahead. With daily effort one will achieve something! There are a lot of stories, but she’s going to leave that for another video.