When I first visited San Andrés, the charm of the small stone buildings enchanted me. Four years later, I feel the magic is disappearing and work urgently needs to be done.
Boulder, Colorado (PRWEB) August 28, 2013
Adventures in Preservation (AiP) has announced it is expanding its programming to address historic building conservation needs in South America. Partnering with Volunteer South America, the initial project will take place in San Andrés de Guano, Ecuador. The partnership will address saving built heritage and traditional crafts.
AiP’s expansion to South America came at the request of Volunteer South America coordinator, Juan Diego Badillo. The emphasis of the organization has recently shifted to addressing the loss of traditional built heritage.
As an architect, Mr. Badillo sees that little understanding remains among residents of the value of vernacular construction techniques that were developed to deal with the Andean landscape and climate. His goal is to demonstrate to communities the economic and environment gain that comes from re-learning traditional techniques and retaining the visual beauty of the region’s unique cultural landscape.
AiP’s initial project in Ecuador, set for next year, will bring local and international travelers to Antiguo Convento de la parroquia de la San Andrés de Guano to begin restoration work. The compound consists of a Franciscan convent from the 17th century that is partially in ruins and a new church, built mid-20th century. All were built of local volcanic stone.
“When I first visited San Andrés, the charm of the small stone buildings enchanted me,” explained Juan Diego. “Four years later, I feel the magic is disappearing and work urgently needs to be done.” A primary aim of the project is therefore to develop interest among community members in maintaining their own historic properties as they see work progress at the convent.
Key to the partnership is giving Ecuador’s students, and others interested in heritage, the opportunity to be part of the change within a community. Few programs exist in the field of heritage conservation and those are only available to students at the major universities. There is great potential in Ecuador to build the rural economy by saving its heritage and drawing tourists to these areas.
AiP and Volunteer South America are making long-term internships available for students wishing to remain in the regions for 3 to 6 months. These interns will assist with mapping of villages and digitization of information; project planning based on needs of the community; preparing drawings and plans; and undertaking stone façade restoration.
For information on joining this project as a participant or sponsor, contact Judith Broeker, Program Director.
Adventures in Preservation (AiP) is a non-profit organization connecting people and preservation through enriching experiential programs that safeguard cultural heritage and foster community sustainability. AiP travelers have the opportunity to travel, experience their destination, and learn hands-on skills from experts while assisting communities in saving their historic resources. Learn more about AiP’s “Heritage travel with purpose” at http://www.adventuresinpreservation.org.