Andean Social Welfare through cultural preservation

About Ayni

Ayni is a Quechua word for mutual aid.


We are a small, not for profit, organization founded in 2006 by botanist Hedy Hollyfield, anthropologist Barbara Wolff, and educator/artist Kathlyn Avila-Reyes.


Ayni aims to preserve cultural patrimony in Peru, and promote social welfare in Andean communities through sponsorship of cultural programs, and through sales of Peruvian art and crafts.


Your purchase of our Peruvian handicrafts and textiles supports projects at the Los Gorriones Orphanage, ANFASEP, and the University of Huamanga as well as the communities that produce, spin, dye and weave the fiber.  It helps keep Ayacucho's fiber tradition alive.

Preserving Cultural Patrimony
Cultural patrimony is described as cultural property, or artifacts that hold continuing and significant historical importance to the heritage of a people. Through projects with entities, such as the University of Huamanga, Ayni, Inc. strives to preserve the cultural patrimony of Peru, home to many of the most profound and prominent societies in Latin America.

Ayacucho’s Textile Tradition
Ayacucho has been known for its fine textiles for thousands of years, and is still a haven for textile enthusiasts today. Herders high in the Andes raise alpaca and sheep for meat and fiber. Weaving families in the Santa Ana district of Ayacucho hand-spin the fiber into yarn, collect dye plants, dye the yarn in small lots, and transform it into timeless works of art that draw upon ancient motifs. These families have a tradition of weaving that has been passed down for generations. Your purchase of their unique textiles is a direct support to their way of life and well being.

The University of Huamanga
Ayacucho, locally known as Huamanga, was founded by the Spanish in 1540, and the University of Huamanga opened its doors in 1677. The University houses a collection of irreplaceable prehistoric and historic artifacts. In 2007, Ayni, Inc. helped the University to win a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Lima to catalog and preserve the collection, making it more accessible to international scholars.

Promoting Social Welfare
Despite Peru being one of the fastest growing economies in South America, many of its people still suffer in poverty, forced to work in the informal job sector in small towns or villages. Efforts of Ayni, Inc., and other organizations, strive to provide an outlet for Andean entrepreneurs, feeding proceeds back into the local community.

ANFASEP: Asociacion Nacional de Familiares de los Secuestrados, Detenidos y Desaparacidos del Peru

ANFASEP was founded in 1983 to uphold the human rights of people who were victimized by the violent conflict between the Shining Path movement and the Peruvian government   during the 1980s and 90s. The members of ANFASEP are the surviving victims of Ayacucho, the birthplace and center of the conflict. They are primarily indigenous Quechua speaking widows, orphans, and youth. With assistance from Ayni, Inc. the women elders, respectfully called "mamas," have begun creating unique needle-felted cards to sell for much needed income. Proceeds from sales of a card go directly to the "mama" who made it.

Contact us: 
Ayni, Inc.
2345 Airline Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: (919) 606-9140

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Ayni, Inc.