Community Story

“New horizons, new challenges”
Ruth Jackeline Ramo Ramírez, 25 years old, Perú

Ruth is part of the Divinas en Brillo de Oro Association in Juliaca, Peru, made up of some members of the Central of Metallurgical Mining Cooperatives of Puno (CECOMIP). Her life has taken an unexpected turn since he became a part of the association. “Now I have new horizons, new challenges,” says Ruth.

New pathways

Due to health problems, Ruth could not continue studying at the university and only reached the third semester of psychology. But since she has joined the association her life has changed, she has found a refuge and a productive way to use her time.

“Divinas en Brillo de Oro” is an association formed with the objective to provide members with more participation and representation in their community and in their Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Organization (ASMO) and to look for economic alternatives to improve their quality of life. The members have been training in order to create a sustainable business in goldsmithing, so since Ruth entered the association she has been able to learn to design and create earrings, rings, and necklaces. 

 “I didn’t know anything about the workshop. One day my dad told me that a jewelry workshop was being held for the daughters and wives of CECOMIP members, ”says Ruth, so at that time he decided to bond and start training with the members of the organization.

On May 5, the goldsmith’s workshop was launched at the CECOMIP facilities with the objective to have members receive training and learn to create their own handmade jewels. The Peruvian jewelry company Sissaï, Fairmined licensee, has collaborated by training the members in the design and creation of handmade jewelry; and, in addition, has committed itself to buy their handmade jewels.

“The women have been given a very good opportunity to learn new things,” says Ruth.

Although her father and mother are miners, neither she nor her brothers have ever worked in the sector. “My older brother is a dentist and my younger sister is studying psychology,” Ruth says, but “I would like to work in mining at some point.” Thanks to her participation in the goldsmith’s workshop, Ruth was able to get involved in small-scale mining. She shares that she has always known about the sector, but never contemplated working on it.

Creating jewelry

“We meet depending on the shifts of CECOMIP members. We depend on their schedules, but we try to meet at least once a week, ”says Ruth.

For a few months, the members of Divinas en Brillo de Oro have been training with Pedro Carrillo, a handmade jeweler from Peru, who has been teaching them the first steps to create jewelry. “For now we are only learning to make basic pieces to familiarize ourselves with the tools. We are learning to make circular shapes, cut metal, file earrings, ”says Ruth.

 Recently they created their first jewels and exhibited them before CECOMIP members. (We recommend you read: “Handmade jewelry launch created by CECOMIP members in Peru“)

 Ruth says that the next challenge for the association is the creation of the jewelry brand and its commercialization. “We would like to sell to international markets and gain recognition,” she says

 Divinas en Brillo de Oro

 The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), with funding from the Ensemble Foundation, the Colorado School of Mines and the Ford Foundation, has developed a project in the Puno region to promote good mining practices in the region. Therefore, since 2017, ARM has been working with the female mining partners of CECOMIP, in order to support an inclusive model of artisanal and small-scale mining.

Learn more about the association below: “Generating a productive empowerment

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