"Our organization came to be in a most unexpected way back in 1996, when we formed part of a project with a mission to develop a multi modal strategy that would improve the quality of life of the region's ceramists - <i>alfareros.</i>
<br><br>"The project also had the purpose of recuperating an old ceramic technique known to us as <i>al negativo</i> (negative) and so promote and improve this style of pottery through modern designs that would appeal to people. This style of pottery is unique to the state of Michoacan and dates back 3500 years.
<br><br>"We called our project 'Tierra Luna' and it wasn't easy at first to achieve our goals, because it took us some time to earn the trust of the alfareros we wished to invite. Unfortunately in the past they had been taken advantage of by other organizations that promised them the moon and the stars and never delivered on their promises.
<br><br>"Once we started earning their trust the next challenge was agreeing on the same thing. But once they saw we were keeping our word to them, things began to run smoothly.
<br><br>"Since then we have received different awards from handcrafts competitions and important fairs, such as ENART (Exposicion Nacional de Artesanias), which has filled us with great satisfaction and pride. These awards are a testimony to our hard work and effort.
<br><br>"We work as a team and we distribute the work according to the amount of work we've got going. On our free time we look for new designs and techniques.
<br><br>"We are so pleased with what we have achieved so far, especially with improving the lives of artisans and their families. Most of the artisans have built extensions to their homes and kept their children in school. This has been our main goal, biggest challenge, and greatest achievement.
<br><br>"As members of an organization, we have become an extended family were mutual support and respect reigns. As a family, we have mourned together the passing of family members and accompanied each other in times of illness. Likewise, we have celebrated together the marriages and births? they are the next generation that will carry on our teachings, traditions and successes.
<br><br>"Our motto is, 'Working as a great family is what brings us great achievements.'"
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.