Maki International
What We Do

Maki International is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and works with women throughout Ayacucho, Peru. Maki International provides the framework for creating, exporting, and selling the beautiful knit goods and handicrafts made using the Peruvian women's existing talents and traditions. We also offer programs in various life subjects and career opportunities to participants.

Currently, our focus is with three different women's groups:

The Women's Emergency Center

The women's emergency center is a resource location for women who are victims of domestic violence. We hold knitting classes at the center, employ any interested woman once she has completed our course and provide empowerment activities for all participants. The goal in the Emergency Center is twofold-to offer the women an environment of solidarity and camaraderie, and provide them with the work skills and financial independence to escape their abuse.

Rural Mothers' Groups

Throughout Ayacucho and in the small mountain communities, there are groups of mothers who come together to share advice, wisdom and resources. Most of these ladies are single moms trying to provide for their children. By bringing knitting and embroidery programs directly to their already-established groups and employing them as small teams, we help them make a living without being separated from their children.

Incarcerated Women (And Their Children)

Nearly all of these women have been charged with drug trafficking. Their sentences are harsh, many of them serving 15-20 years. They often come from impoverished homes and are sought out by drug cartels to transport cocaine produced in the nearby jungle. Children who are under the age of four live with their mothers in the prison. Maki International also aims to support these children both by providing income opportunities for their mothers and by improving conditions and education opportunities.

We have completed several projects in the prison. Our first accomplishment was building a large shade structure in the quad area where the women spend most of their day. Originally there was just a small area of shade that wasn't sufficient. Our next project was supplementing the lavatory facilities that consisted of two cubicles with holes in the ground. We added two additional flushing toilets. Most recently we have completed improvements to the children's area by painting, replacing the tile floor and adding fencing to prevent dangerous falls in the playground area. By making these changes, the state has agreed to send a teacher to the prison for the children every morning.