The Team

  Deborah Azer
Huaywasi Program Manager

Deb, originally from Boston, USA, joined Huaywasi’s team in June 2019 as a Business Development Intern and continued to work remotely after departing from Huaycán. In June 2020 she graduated to a full-time employee and became the new Huaywasi Program Manager! Her degree is in International Sustainable Fashion, and she’s working to streamline operations and market the best Huaywasi products through the artisans' greatest talents. Deb is passionate about ethical fashion, traveling, yoga, and of course eating as much local Peruvian food as she possibly can (her favorite is ceviche)!


Lara DeVries
Founder & Advisor
Lara, originally from the suburbs of Chicago, moved to Huaycán, Peru in 2009 after founding the Light and Leadership Initiative. Since 2009, she's worked with a steady team of volunteers (both local and international) and LLI staff members to improve Peruvian education for women, teens and kids. She's passionate about the Huaywasi artisan project because it provides not only fair wages to women, but educational opportunities to advance their careers and personal lives.
Having lived in Lima for almost 8 years, she just recently moved back to Chicago with her husband (and new baby Gael!) and loves a good Chilcano (pisco, ginger ale and lime juice--yum).


Olivia Ardini
Huaywasi Website Design Intern

Olivia joined the Huaywasi team in June of 2020 to aid in redesigning the formatting, aesthetics, and overall layout of the Huaywasi webpage. Olivia is currently studying to earn her Marketing degree at Bentley University in hopes to one day participate in a similar occupation. Although she only recently became a part of the Huaywasi family, her love and passion for Huaywasi has grown to an immense amount. Olivia loves exploring nature, creative writing, and being with the people she loves!


Chiara Fossati 
Content Communications Intern

Chiara, from Milan, became a member of Huaywasi’s team in September 2020, working remotely as a Communication Content Creator. She has a Master’s Degree in Languages and Cultures for International Communication and Cooperation. Chiara has experience in video production and graphic design as well as, audiovisual projects, including short-films. Over the last few years she has been working and studying in Peru and Spain. Chiara loves traveling and exploring new cultures. 


Keisha Blanco
Artisan Storytelling Intern

Keisha is from Downey, CA and has lived in California her entire life. She is an international studies major with a minor in Spanish studies and another minor in political science. Keisha has interned and worked with a non-profit organization called Stay Gallery, in the city of Downey where she was a youth coordinator. As a youth coordinator, she enjoyed working with kids and getting to understand how creatively they can create their own pieces of work. She enjoys reading novels, painting on canvases and exploring new food spots. Keisha also enjoys being outdoors and goes hiking every Sunday and goes snowboarding with family and friends during the holidays! 


Flora Ferrara
Artisan Storytelling Intern
Flora Ferrara Huaywasi team

Flora is based in Rome and started her remote collaboration with Huaywasi in September 2020. She has recently completed her studies with an interdisciplinary background. In 2018, she earned her BA in English and Spanish Languages and Cultures, and in June 2020 she finished her MA in Fashion Studies at Stockholm University. She has had a previous working experience at Rome Fine Arts Museum. Flora has a passion for cinema, costume, fashion and literature and enjoys researching into how different arts and cultures dialogue with each other. She has travelled throughout Europe and can’t wait to visit Peru and learn more about its culture!

Previous Team Members
Yet still part of the Huaywasi family
Huaywasi would also like to thank the many dedicated LLI and Huaywasi Managers that have worked with our artisans over the past years, and helped the artisan program to grow and develop into what it is today:
Jillian Schneider, Mara de los Angeles, Justine Gilliot, Leni Rohbeck, Charlotte Bennett, Patricia Imada, Sofia Perhomaa, Jessie Sweet, Carina Martin, Naomi Campbell, Adrianna Carlesimo, Leslie Gordon, Beth Bellatti, Chelsea Mahan, Audrey Fulwiler, Abby Carrigan, Heidi Valimaki, Sarah Renkert, Ellie Hargadon-Lowe, Franzi Weil, Meri Paunonen, Shelby O'Brien, Patrícia Imada, Loli Apaéstegui, María Jose Valdivia Alzamora, Keir Hayden

Join our team!


Are you interested in working with Huaywasi? We offer virtual and local positions in Fashion Design, Business Development, and more.