Here at Kalo, we are committed to preserving the culture and traditions of the Wayuus. Weaving is a dying art form, and it is our mission is to give opportunities to those people who have been preserving their family’s culture. It’s a heritage thing, and we want to keep that alive. The Wayuu are known as the people of the sun, sand, and wind. They live in the arid Guajira Peninsula in northern Colombia and northwest Venezuela. The Wayuu language is part of the Arawak family and is called Wayuunaiki. Today, there is thought to be around 110,000 – 140,000 Wayuu people living in Colombia.
The Wayuu live in the aridest and desert-like conditions where the majority of essential resources are very scarce. Most of the men support their families through fishing, agriculture, goat herding, and sea salt harvesting, while the Wayuu women dedicate themselves to weaving. Most of these women are artisans, who by conserving their traditions and culture, have become entrepreneurs. These women teach the new generations the art of weaving, and through the development of fashion, the Wayuu have created beautiful and unique bags called “mochilas,” which are the soul and inspiration of Kalo Boutique. Many of the designs that are woven into each bag represent the natural elements that surround the Wayuu, and what their culture revolves around, such as animals, the sun, the plants, and the stars. It takes these women 10-30 days to complete each bag; they are a labor of love.
I Was born In Colombia and moved to the US when I was 16 years old. When you grow in a third world country, you experience inequality, poverty, corruption, sexism, and many other socio-economic problems every day. I was lucky to be raised by the most amazing women, my mother. Deep love and opportunities surrounded me, she has always been by my side to guide me and teach that we come to this world to learn to be happy. With my eyes on social responsibility and my love for handmade products and heritage; I decided I needed to create opportunities for people that are willing to work and do it in an honest and meaningful way.
Each of our bags has a unique story to tell; each bag is 100% handmade and one of a kind. Our Mochilas will be your companion in all your adventures. With your purchase, you are not only helping us to provide a better quality of life to our weavers but also you are supporting a meaningful purchase. We are advocates of “slow fashion,” and collectively we can make a big difference in many lives. With every purchase, we are also donating 10% to Pesyro Foundation a non-profit organization that focuses on helping the Wayuu community in the municipalities of Manaure and Riohacha in La Guajira. We are committed to making the world a better place, and we want you to be part of this journey, I hope you like our mission and help us bring joy to those souls that need it so much.