In Manos del Uruguay we work together with independent artists and craftspeople with whom we develop crafts made of noble materials such as wood, horn, leather, pottery, pumpkin, etc., all of them of good quality and with cultural identity.
Manos del Uruguay is doing research into the traditional symbols of our gauchos and Indians (natives), our flora and fauna, as well as into urban and countryside images, designing unique pieces which, in one way or another, transmit our own identity.
Rescue and innovation, tradition and evolution, and a permanent synergy between artisans and designers...this synthesis is indispensable to reach out to world markets. Hence the unavoidable need of working together, rescuing our heritage, and innovating at the same time.
The duo artisan-designer is the reason of Manos del Uruguay many achievements and one of its major contributions to the sector when the time comes to make it visible, to dignify trades, and to build a country image in accordance with its identity.
The regard for our traditional values -reflecting at the same time the new contemporaneous expressions- is part of the challenges Manos faces day after day.
We understood that international cooperation is another instrument for the development of the sector, since it allows: the exchange of experiences, the exchange of know-how and techniques, the internships of artisans and experts in and out of the country, our presence in international workshops, the management of resources at the international level, and the participation of our artisans in courses and fairs.- commented Magdalena Pérez del Castillo, member of WCC - World Crafts Council board of directors.
Manos del Uruguay has managed projects like IDB CTIintra in the glass (Peru) and wicker (Chile) sectors. It has made exchanges with Mexican masters on high-temperature ceramics, and bambu crafts with India; it has been present in fairs in Santiago, Caracas and Puerto Rico; it has also performed Manos consultancies in Cuiaba and Porto Alegre (Brazil), in Bogota (Colombia), in Puerto Montt (Chile), etc.
In this way Manos del Uruguay has been weaving an advantageous network of exchanges from which it has nurtured and which it is has shared, and the last achievement of which is having been chosen for the European Community Link-All craft project, place it shares with the Information Systems Institute of the Engineering School of the University of the Republic, COFAC [National Savings and Credit Cooperative] and CLAEH [Latin American Centre for Human Economy].