FAIR TRADE PRESERVING ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

  • Jonit Bookheim
  • 01 Jan, 2013

The pre-Inca archaeological site of Chotuna, Peru, is a stunning 235-acre monumental temple complex where several royal tombs have been discovered.  Despite the site’s treasure trove of history, the community near the site of Chotuna is one in need, living without electricity, a sewer system, or even clean water.

The Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI) is an organization that seeks to save the world’s cultural heritage by providing sustainable economic opportunities to poor communities in which archaeological sites are located.  SPI empowers local communities to preserve their cultural heritage by embracing them as economic assets.

Their project at Chotuna invests in local cotton textile artisans, constructing a facility for training and production as well as a small picnic and sales area for their work near the archaeological site.  In addition, the project will build a store and showroom for these handicrafts in the nearby city of Lambayeque.  The project creates jobs and generates sustainable income for local residents that depends on the preservation of their cultural heritage.

SPI provides an alternative to other potential economic uses of archaeological sites such as looting, agriculture, and grazing, one that helps people improve their lives and gives them a powerful economic incentive to preserve our shared heritage.  This model creates a sustainable cycle of preservation and economic growth.

The Sustainable Preservation Initiative is our Charity of the Month, and a portion of our proceeds will support their work.  Visit their website to find out how you can help.

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