November 26, 2008
Presidents at APEC wearing Kuna ponchos

“A company from Arequipa manufactures the custom-made ponchos that the 21 APEC leaders  used in the closing ceremony.”
It all started with some vicuña wool shawls that the company Incalpaca of Arequipa presented to the APEC ministers who were attending the meeting in that city. These garments were of such good quality that the forum organizers contacted the company and made a top-secret order.
“We began to make the ponchos in June, but a clause in the contract required us to keep the order a secret,” now says Santiago Ortega, the company’s marketing manager, while showing one of the manufactured products along with the 21 alpaca ponchos that the APEC leaders wore the day of the official photo that would commemorate the said international meeting.
The ponchos were custom-tailored for every leader. With that end, the organization asked each country for its representative’s measurements at the summit. Of course, the biggest poncho was for the host president, while the most difficult to make was for the president or The United States because the White House only sent information on George W. Bush’s size and “forgot” to give his arm length and other details.
Martha Borda, one of the artisans, who was in charge of embroidering the ponchos, said that for work reasons she has not yet been able to see the photo of the leaders wearing her work, and that she needs to give herself time to see how her pieces turned out.
For Incalpaca’s general manager German Freyre, the most important thing is that the work they were asked for, is allowed to meet the company’s vision of “dressing everyone with our products”

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