Around the World with Sustainable Preservation Initiative
Wondering why you haven’t heard from us for a while? Not to worry, we’ve been busy Building Futures and Saving Pasts all over the world! So follow us around the globe vis Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and see what we have been doing!
We spend a lot of time talking to the artisans we support, over 85% of whom are women. Whether in Peru, Guatemala, Jordan, Tanzania or Bulgaria, these women overcome enormous obstacles every day just to survive. They tell us how their new jobs enable them to feed their families better, keep their children in school, get better access to health care, and give them confidence in all aspects of their lives. Machismo is no joke in many of these communities. With the tools SPI provides them, they are building sustainable businesses and better futures for themselves and their families, realizing their hopes and dreams. And they are now powerful advocates for saving their cultural heritage.
Expanding our Collaboration with National Geographic!
You know that our friends at National Geographic have been funding numerous of our projects in Peru. Now we are collaborating in Tanzania! A NatGeo grant will fund our first project in Tanzania, at the site of Kaole. With our partners Noel Lwoga (the official grantee) and Elgidius Ichumbaki of the University of Dar-es Salaam, sixteen women from the local community around the Kaole ruins are going through the SPI "mini business school" and created a new cooperative called WAUTO-Kaole. The name derives from the Swahili WAmama (women), Utamaduni (Heritage/culture) and TOndo (mad snails).
The women will be selling products such as mats, caps and bongo drums, as well as the famous local delicacy tondo soup-its delicious, come try some!!
New Projects in the North of Peru
Our Peruvian team has been spending a lot of time in the north, checking out our existing projects, inaugurating new Bicitours, and meeting with several communities about potential new SPI projects. They just completed a long journey there. Here are some highlights:
While empowering women and saving sites, we noticed another group of talented people who had little or no economic opportunity and little relationship to their heritage - young adults. Indeed the women we were working with in many communities asked us if we could create a similar program for their daughters and sons. So in collaboration with National Geographic we did!
We inaugurated our second Bicitours program at the site of Tucume, Peru on August 11th. Ten women and men, ages 18-22, will be giving bicycle tours of this enormous monumental site. These young people have completed the SPI-developed intensive business and bicycling training program, which includes site knowledge, customer service, bike maintenance, first aid, and management. Demand has been high and the reviews fantastic, and our tour leaders are already starting to earn meaningful income in their new jobs. Come and take a tour!
We have begun a third Bicitours program at the famed site of Chan Chan, Peru. We will let you know when the young people there are ready to show you the site as you have never seen it before!
In addition to Bicitours, our team visited the SPI-supported artisan/entrepreneurs at San Jose de Moro, Chotuna-Chornancap and Kuelap, all of whose businesses remain sustainable and thriving. San Jose de Moro has now been self-sustaining and profitable for six years!!
We also welcomed Carla Diaz to our team as regional coordinator for the Cajamarca region. Carla is meeting with communities throughout the region to identify potential new SPI projects. She and our VP for Latin America Luis Jaime Castillo recently visited communities associated with several sites including Viracochapampa and Marcahuamachuco. We will be announcing new projects soon!
Our First Project in Bulgaria!
We have also kicked off our first project at the late Roman fortress Tzari Mali Grad, near the town of Samakov. A majority woman-owned cooperative called 12 Fortresses (the number of fortresses near the town) has been formed and the members are completing the SPI mini business school. They have just begun selling their first products: magnets and tote bags incorporating the late Roman and Byzantine sites and objects of the region. Congratulations to the members of 12 Fortresses! Our Bulgaria team lead by Rossitza Ohridska-Olson is exploring several new projects in Bulgaria, so stay tuned!
PROSPEROUS FUTURES START HERE
SPI empowers women and preserves heritage. And we want to do more of that. We cannot do this alone. We need your help to keep building futures and saving pasts. And now to bring our mini-business school all over the world! The more support we receive for this mission, the more effective the results. Please join us in helping impoverished communities and the archaeological sites around which they live. Any donation you make will be greatly appreciated.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT OUR WORK, PLEASE CLICK HERE
Your support has meant prosperity for poor communities and saved endangered archaeological sites around the world. Thank you for all that you do.