At San José de moro we are helping highly-skilled local entrepreneurs create outstanding products, including quality replicas of ceramics found at this unique site.


  The Site San José de Moro is one of the most important cemeteries and ceremonial centers of the Mochica and subsequent used by Lambayeque and Chimu cultures. Hundreds of burials have been excavated since 1991 and some of the most significant finds have been seven chamber burials containing the remains of elite Moche Priestesses, and, associated with them, one of the largest and finest assemblages of ceramics in Peru, including several remarkable Moche fineline ceramics. 

 

The Site

San José de Moro is one of the most important cemeteries and ceremonial centers of the Mochica and subsequent used by Lambayeque and Chimu cultures. Hundreds of burials have been excavated since 1991 and some of the most significant finds have been seven chamber burials containing the remains of elite Moche Priestesses, and, associated with them, one of the largest and finest assemblages of ceramics in Peru, including several remarkable Moche fineline ceramics. 

  The Community San José de Moro is a small, rural community of approximately 5,000 inhabitants, located on the North Coast of Peru about 700km north of Lima between Trujillo and Chiclayo.  The local economy is largely agricultural, producing primarily rice, corn and onions. The average daily income for residents is approximately US$9.50 per day. The community live in and around the archaeological site, travelling across it and interacting with it daily. 

 

The Community

San José de Moro is a small, rural community of approximately 5,000 inhabitants, located on the North Coast of Peru about 700km north of Lima between Trujillo and Chiclayo.  The local economy is largely agricultural, producing primarily rice, corn and onions. The average daily income for residents is approximately US$9.50 per day. The community live in and around the archaeological site, travelling across it and interacting with it daily. 

  The Project SPI is inspiring and creating local entrepreneurs. Tourism and local sales are being encouraged through the construction of a visitors' center, including a workshop, store, picnic area and toilets.  Led by master-craftsman Julio Ibarolla (above), a group of apprentices are learning to produce high quality ceramics based on local designs, while a local blacksmith has created a business specializing in archaeological tools.  We have expanded opportunities through a screen-printing workshop to make products decorated with iconography from the site.

 

The Project

SPI is inspiring and creating local entrepreneurs. Tourism and local sales are being encouraged through the construction of a visitors' center, including a workshop, store, picnic area and toilets.  Led by master-craftsman Julio Ibarolla (above), a group of apprentices are learning to produce high quality ceramics based on local designs, while a local blacksmith has created a business specializing in archaeological tools.  We have expanded opportunities through a screen-printing workshop to make products decorated with iconography from the site.


Achievements

  • SPI was awarded the First International Tourism Cares Award in 2013 for our outstanding work in sustainability and preservation at this site. 
  • SPI built a new workshop, store and site entrance, trained the artisans in business skills, and developed exciting new product with them.  The business is now self-sustaining and requires no more direct support! 
  • To date, direct revenues to the local community have reached $50,000, with the project representing a return on investment within four years! Our master-craftsman, Julio Ibarrola, is now able to commit himself full-time to his craft, while 11 people make and sell crafts through the business, and 11 other local indirect jobs were created.
  • The artisans are developing new types of products, visiting and learning from other craftsmen around Peru, and promoting themselves - watch the video they made of their beautiful ceramics here!
  • Local women have spontaneously started their own businesses, providing lunch for tourists in their homes and selling textiles at the visitors' center, generating thousands of dollars for the local community every month.
  • Looting at the site has dramatically reduced, helping safeguard the site for future generations!

The Big Thing we Learned

  • Local, independent, dynamic leadership is key to the success and sustainability of projects and spreading the benefits! 

The Future

  • SPI is currently working to bring the next generation of entrepreneurs through in San José de Moro - giving them the skills and opportunities to have their own businesses and keeping young people in the town and valuing their heritage. Help us!