Josefina Duran Prementil

My aim

is to share the typical art forms of my culture with travelers and the residents of the city. My life revolves around my work. It is my passion to teach others from the modern world about this dying practice and the ways of my people.

A typical day for me begins with tending to the needs of my home and family, followed by returning to my workspace, located in my bedroom. Using the same tools as my mother, just as she did of hers, and so on, back as far as anyone can remember. I weave the pictures from my mind into the textile, in the typical colors of the Jal’qa villages.

Following the daily addition to the current work in progress, I make my commute to the city. Hoping to sell one of my pieces, but even more to make a connection. I pass out flyers to those interested in coming to my home to learn these skills and maybe even create something of their own.

I feel most fortunate

if someone really understands and appreciates what I’m trying to share with the world. If there is a person who is really excited by what I do and wants to help me share it with others; This is my best day. Someone who sees the importance of keeping this art form alive, is a dear friend, they are helping to keep the culture of my family alive in this rapidly changing world.

My greatest fears

are of becoming ill, losing my vision, as so many people I have known, or anything else that would impede my ability to do this work.

How we met

Josefina and I had the opportunity to meet and spend a day together in late August 2014.  A mutual friend who had gotten to know Josefina while volunteering in Sucre asked me and a few other travelers to join them for a visit to her home outside the city.  We walked (as it was national pedestrian day, and there were no vehicles on the roads of Bolivia) from the city center to where she lives with her husband, daughter, pigs, chickens, and dogs.  Normally it’s possible to take the 11, 4, Q, or 12 city bus to her neighborhood, however having her lead us their on foot was a unforgettable chance to get to know her and the area in which she lives.  She offers the unique experience of learning how to make the traditional textiles to anyone interested in being welcomed into her humble home in Barrio San Martin.  Josefina can be reached by phone at (+591) 76113359.  I highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to meet her if ever in the Chuquisaca district of Bolivia.