Who we are and what we do...
We are a group of Ayoreo indigenous people, ancestral inhabitants of the Gran Chaco Region of Bolivia and Paraguay. We lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle until the evangelist missionaries contacted us (40 years ago) and moved our families to the community of Puesto Paz, which is located 190 Km NW of our homeland.
Traditionally, we harvested the dajudie plant (Bromelia hieronymi), common to the dry tropical Chaco woodland, to weave skirts, bedspreads, and many different types of bags used for hunting and gathering. We lost the access to our valuable dajudie because this species was absent in the new environment. It was not until 1997 that we had the opportunity to start the cultivation of this species in our community, and we turned our traditional harvesting into a sustainable agricultural practice.
We are proud of having founded the Cheque Oitedie Cooperative and kept it active and growing for the last 15 years, fulfilling our mission “to strengthen the women's cultural identity through the maintenance and promotion of our traditional craftsmanship.” We have also progressed in our objective to find new markets and generate fair prices for artisan products made with dajudie fiber.