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Peru, a country with over 5,000 years of recorded history, is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, boasting 43 native languages! But despite this complicated array of cultural influences, Manos Amigas, which means "hands joined in friendship," hunts high and low to find talented artisans who make a variety of handicrafts in impoverished areas of Lima and in the Andean highlands. Think ceramics, jewelry, wind chimes, gourds, retablos, and textiles. Manos Amigas even offers tourist packages to different cities and towns to teach Peruvian culture to visitors and show off the artisans’ excellent craftsmanship.
Today, the organization hosts training in Lima for all its artisans across Peru every two years, providing transportation and housing. Meanwhile, 20 per cent of profits are directed to social work efforts such as helping a feeding program for poor children by providing warm meals, school uniforms and school supplies.