NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 28, 2013

Finding a common ground

Yarina owner shares his culture, crafts

NEWBURYPORT — Some immigrants settle in this area but never fully leave their old homes.

Roberto Cachimuel left Ecuador more than two decades ago, but the 39-year-old store owner communicates with his family by phone or Skype almost every day.

As owner of Yarina, a crafts store on Inn Street that sells goods made by indigenous people, he finds it useful not only to stay in touch with his family but to discuss with them the products they are developing for sale.

“Much of what we sell is made by my mother and my brothers and sisters,” said Cachimuel, who has nine brothers and two sisters. “With Skype, I can see what they’re doing and what designs they are working on. We can discuss what will work.

“I return with the technology today, we stay close when I am here,” he said.

Cachimuel came to the Boston area when he was 16, in part because his father was interested in determining whether there was a market for the village’s goods in New England.

His family lives in Otavalo, a city of 90,000 in the Andes Mountains. This community continues a long tradition of exporting crafts and clothing that reflect the culture of Ecuador.

“When I came here, I didn’t realize I would stay,” he said. “I bonded with a family in Somerville and went to Somerville High School. There wasn’t much offered to those who didn’t speak English, but I learned. I was also able to get involved in music, which our whole family is engaged in.”

Cachimuel pursued this interest by attending Berklee School of Music, where he learned music theory for the first time and met many professors and students who shared his love.

Accomplished as a writer, producer and player of flute and strings, the versatile musician plays as many gigs as can be arranged.

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