Learning to knead dough until it feels just right, combining spices that make a meal pop, and turning over a new garden bed to get the most robust growth are just some of the valuable skills that mothers pass on to their children. The warm childhood memories that fill our minds of working side-by-side, as we soak in the knowledge of our mothers and grandmothers are priceless.
We then build our own memories as we teach these same skills to our own children, which connects us all forever. Traditions passed down will live on. Sometimes, they can even be turned a profitable business that can help the family thrive, as is the case with Lourdes.
Lourdes’ mother was skilled in the art of sewing traditional Bolivian women’s clothing, a skill that she passed down to her daughter. For many years, Lourdes ran her own business out of her home, sewing traditional polleras (skirts) of her culture and other garments for women in her neighbourhood. Some clothing she sewed by hand, and others with a small domestic sewing machine. Her sewing machine was slow and overheated easily – it would take Lourdes about three days to make one pollera.