SPI People Not Stones 2013





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Published on Feb 11, 2013

Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI):

Bandurria and Chotuna--two ancient communities in Peru with immense beauty and historical importance. Each is the home of extraordinary archaeological sites.

Bandurria contains some of the earliest monumental architecture of the Americas: four pyramids older than those of ancient Egypt where excavations have uncovered a society that marks the origin of civilization in the Andes.

The archaeological site of Chotuna is equally significant: 235-acres with monumental temples and pyramid complexes, where several royal tombs have been discovered. And more is being uncovered daily.

These ancient sites are an essential part of our shared cultural heritage. They help us to understand the history of human beings on our planet and yet these precious sites are in danger of being lost forever.

An even more urgent problem is that Bandurria and Chotuna are communities in which most families live far below the poverty line. Neither place can afford such basics as running water and electricity, and neither has a sewer system. There are few jobs, little income and no opportunity to escape this cycle of poverty.

How can we alleviate poverty in these communities?
How can we save the archaeological sites?
Turns out, we can do both.

The Sustainable Preservation Initiative has come up with a unique paradigm that alleviates poverty by empowering entrepreneurs and creating jobs through local businesses whose financial success is dependent upon the preservation of the archaeological sites.

Our People Not Stones model incentivizes the communities to preserve their cultural heritage sites as precious economic assets -- ones that draw tourists to the sites. With the influx of people, there is demand for the art and handicrafts of the community. Production increases along with the need for stores, snack bars, showrooms, guides, and brochures.

At Bandurria, our project will construct a communal artisan center where locals can produce their traditional reed weaving handicrafts and train future artisans, creating more local jobs in the community. The project includes a store for the sale of the handicrafts, a snack bar, and clean toilets for tourists. Our project at Chotuna empowers the local textile, gourd carving and other artisans by constructing a facility for artisan training and production as well as a small picnic and sales area for their work near the archaeological site.

People Not Stones will create transformative opportunities for local residents while saving invaluable archaeological sites for future generations to study and enjoy.

When such a solution is possible, why settle for anything less?

We are currently raising funds to reach our goal of $49,000 to fully complete the project. And due to the generosity of one donor, any donation you make will be matched, doubling your contribution to the project.

Help us save sites and change lives at Bandurria and Chotuna, Peru, by donating to our project today!

Two communities empowered, two extraordinary sites saved.


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