When we asked Pablo why he felt it was important to share his craft with travelers, he gave us an answer we didn’t expect—that these workshops make just as much of an impact on the artisans who lead them as they do on their student participants. At first, says Pablo, “the locals were surprised to see that America is a mix of cultures and nations. But they began to understand the world in different ways.”
Pablo has always used his art to support his community. When the Seminario family first came to the Sacred Valley town of Urubamba, the locals mostly made their living selling potatoes. The concept of health insurance or steady work was just as foreign as American visitors. But thanks to revenue earned from travelers visiting the workshop, Pablo and Marilú now have more than 50 locals-turned-artists who work with them. They’ve seen their employees buy homes for their families. They’ve seen those artisans’ kids grow up—quite literally, as the workshop often doubled as a daycare—and go to college. And they’ve seen their community make this art their own.
“My last name is Seminario, and right now, people know this work as the Seminario style. But the name of this town is Urubamba, and in the future, I hope it will be known as the Urubamba style,” says Pablo.