From August 4th to the 9th, the city of Sucre was host to the 9th IntegrArte Fair.
IntegrArte was started by the OEPAIC (Organizaciones Económicas de Productores de Artesanos y Artesanas con Identidad Cultural - Economic organizations of Artisans with Cultural Identity for the Spanish acronym) network that connects eleven rural cooperatives from seven departments in the country.
This year, IntegrArte had support from the Sucre Municipal Government, the Casa de la Cultura Universitaria (University House of Culture), CECI from Canada through its UNITERRA program, and the Belgian NGOs SOSFAIM and BD along with other organizations.
Thirty rural artisan cooperatives from eight departments participated in the fair. They displayed crafts from the areas of traditional, decorative, crochet and utilitarian weaving, wood carvings, costume jewelry, fabric and wood products, ceramic, leather and felt products, clothing, sheep wool, llama and apaca accessories and more.
While the fair was underway, a program with different activities also took place, including a training workshop in designing artisan shipping containers, workshop on packaging for export, business round table, community tourism experience round table with a focus on crafts, fashion show, municipal and departmental policy panel discussions to support tourism and artisan work.
This type of fair helps both foreign and national visitors become familiar with the work of the talented Bolivian craftsmen and craftswomen.
Thanks to the training and the artisans' desire to advance, Bolivian craftsmanship has improved substantially both in quality and design, reaching an equilibrium between ancestral techniques of each culture and contemporary styles.
If you have plans to visit Bolivia next year in August, please visit Sucre and the IntegrArte Fair.