Irene comes from a large family. Her father worked for the National Railway Company for many years and her mother was a housewife. She has 19 brothers and sisters, 47 nieces and nephews, and is a grand-aunt as well. Many of her family members have also worked with the co-op: her older sister made pillows with a group that formed and worked in the Carlos Reyles High School; her youngest sister wove ruanas (a poncho-like garment) and scarves, and four of her nieces have worked as hand-knitters – one is even still knitting with the co-op today!
Irene loves everything about her job, and notes that it has given her strength to develop herself as a person, enduring good times and bad. Working at the co-op enables her to stay in Molles with her family. Molles is a small village of approximately 1200 people in central Uruguay. It was formerly known as Carlos Reyles, so named for the novelist and wealthy horse-breeder who owned land in the area. Its main attractions are the Caves Reyles, the rose garden and historic railway station.Click here to read more profiles of Manos del Uruguay artisans!