Siblings Guadalupe and Mario Lanao Flores, conceived the idea of setting up an export : Guadalupe Lanao, a new business graduate and her brother, Mario Lanao, who was working in Nicaragua, exporting wooden handicraft products to England.
They started Alter SA, a new company that provided Nicaragua with products such as rocking chairs, shoes, etc., from Peru as a way to help relieve the severe embargo against Nicaragua at the time. The steady work in international markets led the company Alter S.A. to work with up to 41 organizations of small handicraft producers throughout Peru.Around this time in Europe Alternative Trade Organizations (ATOs) had emerged. Their intent was to coordinate activities with small producers in the South. This constituted a first opportunity for a direct contact with potential customers in England and the United States.