"I'm Leonor Quispe Urbano and I was born in Ayacucho where I grew up. But terrorism was terrible in those parts of the Andes, so we moved to Lima.<br><br>"When I was a girl, I loved to make doll clothes. I'd spin wool from our sheep to make tiny dresses and many other things. When I discovered the art of <i>arpilleria,</i> or patchwork, I realized this was what I'd always wanted to do.<br><br>"For as long as I can remember, I've liked to craft things. Besides, necessity forced me to be creative. I realized that I could express my creativity with every scrap of fabric and bring my memories of Ayacucho to life. My work is quite meticulous, but filled with love and the traditions, culture and history of the Peruvian Andes.<br><br>"Once I knitted some sweaters and, even though I worked hard and delivered them on time, I was never paid for them. To this day, I haven't received a cent for them, but that experience sowed yet another seed of love for textile arts in my heart. Despite the sacrifices, I continue to create whatever comes to mind.<br><br>"I enjoy my work because it's a lovely way to make a living. I give thanks to God for giving me this life, for health, and for blessing my hands with this talent.<br><br>"My greatest challenge is to have enough work to send my children to school so that they'll have the ability to defend themselves in life.<br><br>"Thank you for appreciating our art This motivates me to continue working, and to improve every detail of each design."<br><br>Leonor Quispe's textile work has been exhibited in a number of Peruvian venues, including the U.S. Embassy.
In the Andes, the Land of the Four Corners, mountains are sacred. So is culture. The Nazca lines, the Wari glyphs, the Quipu knots and the complex multi-colored textiles of the Incas are all recorded and live on the work of contemporary Peruvian artisans.