Who we are

Spirit of the Andes is a not-for-profit organization which has been training indigenous women from poor neighborhoods in El Alto, La Paz and Cochabamba to knit to the highest standards using Bolivian alpaca, llama and cotton yarns. By purchasing items from this website you are directly supporting women who have been excluded from development and income-generating opportunities.


Marina Claros met Mick and Mimi in 1992 when she was working with UNICEF. They joined together to work with indigenous women from the Norte Potosí region and in a  pilot workshop "Kantuta" in the city of Cochabamba. Since then Marina has been the leader, expert knitter and mother for the Spirit of the Andes team.






Mimi Woodbridge decided the US Government could provide her with an adventure vacation, so she joined the Peace Corps. Luckily she was sent to Bolivia where she worked with artisans on the Altiplano, building a water system, a craft center and, with Marina Claros and Mick Huerta, founding Spirit of the Andes. Mimi designs many of the sweaters and generally tries to make herself useful.








Alix has volunteered with Spirit of the Andes for over 16 years after meeting founders Mick and Mimi in the tropical  paradise of Coroico. Originally from the north of England she has lived in Bolivia since 1994 and is especially interested in the health and wellbeing of Bolivian women and their children.




Sue Sinclair lives in the UK, in Yorkshire. In 2006 she visited Spirit of the Andes as a volunteer and initiated the playgroup and children's welfare programme. She has subsequently returned to Bolivia twice to continue development of these projects. In between visits She works on fundraising to ensure the continuation of this provision for the children at our workshops in El Alto and Cochabamba."


Ana Maria Compos Rios


Ana Maria Campos Rios has been our in-house legal counsel for many years. She has skillfully guided Spirit of the Andes through the rocky shoals of operating in Bolivia. In addition, Ana Maria continues to give informal lectures to the knitters about their civil and marital rights. Without her contribution the twenty plus years on Spirit of the Andes in Bolivia would not have been as successful.





Mick Huerta was born in St. John's, Newfoundland. He attended the School for International Training (SIT) and has led an adventurous life as, amongst other activities, a radio DJ, restaurateur, silver importer and most recently compiling a cookbook called, "SALSA! The Sauces of South America." He has been one of the directors of Spirit of the Andes since it's inception.






Calista Woodbridge, who is our US representative, has been associated
with Spirit of the Andes for more than tewnty years. She receives checks
from clients and facilitates all aspects of client service.