The Route of the Loom in Catamarca is an unbelievable route that brings together more than 300 artisans dedicated to this traditional Creole weaving. There are nine towns in Catamarca that bring together these weavers who use their magical hands to make the best creations because, as some verses say, they weave with the same ease with which they breathe.
One of the incredible characteristics of the Loom Route is that each town has its own designs to be able to work the fibers of llama, sheep and vicuña. In total, the attraction has about 50 posts located in what is known as “ La Cradle del Poncho”. This shows the historical and cultural peculiarities of these artists, who, in addition to using this technique as a life support, consider the fabric as an activity that must be kept in force.
It is an ancestral technique passed down from generation to generation and today constitutes one of the region's true cultural heritage. Tourists can visit artisans in their homes and buy ponchos. They can also know how they work, since, in most cases, they have their workshops in the courtyards of their homes, where the sun accompanies long working days.
In addition, this beautiful tour has an important gastronomic offer for those who not only want to shop, but also want to taste the traditional dishes of the region. One of the most sought after meals is undoubtedly the catamarqueño jigote , a kind of cake that can be accompanied with a good regional wine.
The department of Belén has a rich cultural history since pre-Hispanic times . It is the oldest of the territories of the province of Catamarca. The city is located on Route 40 about 280 kilometers from the capital of the province. The workshops that can be seen here are entirely of family origin, although there are also cooperatives, associations, among others. Each of the undertakings has particular characteristics applied to the unique methods of work as well as the choice of threads, design and tailoring.
In addition to Bethlehem, London has a healthy competition to see which of the two places has the best ponchos in the province. This small village of 3,000 inhabitants also stands out for the ancient manufacture of this traditional garment.
Craftsmen of history...
The proposal for the tour of the loom route aims to enable textile producers and artisans in Bethlehem to optimize the marketing of their articles. At the same time it seeks to revalue spinners and weavers as Catamarca's cultural heritage by considering them Living Human Treasures . This term was defined by Unesco as a person who possesses a high degree of knowledge and skills allowing him to recreate concrete elements of intangible cultural marriage.
It is a sustainable tourism activity because it is directly related to the economic development of local populations while offering a rich experience to visitors.
Argentina, nacida en La Plata y criada en Jujuy. Licenciada en Comunicación Social y especialista en Comunicación Digital de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Los últimos años me dediqué a la redacción para medios de alcance nacional, enfocado en noticias locales.