Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Dorinda Dutcher & PAZA Bolivia

March 2023

For this special virtual Fireside Chat, WARP Members had the chance to join Dorinda Dutcher in the rural village of Independencia, Bolivia, for a natural dye workshop with the weaving community. 

In 2007, the weavers of the Andean rural community of Huancarani asked Dorinda, then a Peace Corps volunteer, for assistance in rescuing natural dye techniques and preserving their textile heritage. So began PAZA, a joint effort of the Bolivian weavers, foreign weavers, WARP members, and many others interested in the preservation of textile traditions.

In 2008, Dorinda teamed up with Doña Maxima Cortez a weaver raised in Huancarani but living with her family in Independencia. Over the next 2 years, PAZA contracted natural dye experts to give workshops in Quechua in Independencia to train local trainers in the use of local dye plants and Bolivian cochineal. The Huancarani weavers are the only artisans who continued to revive natural dye recipes through the years, and weave with natural dyed wool.

Doña Maxima is the coordinator of PAZA´s Club de Artesanas whose members meet twice a week to build fiber related skills.

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