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PEOPLE NOT STONES--As we head into July, SPI is not only revving up for a summer of sustainable preservation, but also inaugurating our brand new website and celebrating our successes from the past few months!
Same address, but new look! SPI is diving into summer with a fantastic new website. Learn more about our organization, projects, and ways to get involved by checking it out here.
The beautiful fine-line ceramics and carved gourds created by local artisans at our projects in San Jose de Moro and Pampas Gramalote have made their debut online! Part of the economic sustainability of our preservation projects comes from the sale of artwork created by local artisans at San Jose de Moro and Pampas Gramalote, Peru. Master artisan Ivan Cruz, for example, creates beautiful carved and painted gourds as well as trains novice local artisans to continue in his footsteps. These pieces have become so popular that they are now available for sale on NOVICA, an online platform dedicated to connecting local artisans to customers around the globe! SPI supporters and the general public will finally have the opportunity to purchase these one-of-a-kind products that not only sustain a community, but help preserve our global cultural heritage. Shop for Ivan Cruz’s works of art on NOVICA here

Pampas Gramalote gourd sales and artisan training are in full swing! On June 1st, the community of Huanchaco inaugurated its new artisan store sponsored by the Sustainable Preservation Initiative and the municipality of Huanchaco. Up to now, master artisan Ivan Cruz and his students have sold 169 gourds for 1,535 neuvos soles. The artisan training that took place from February to April earlier this year saw seven to ten students at each class. At the Inaugural Trujillo Children's Book Fair, held at the end of June, SPI-supported Cruz offered gourd painting lessons to various groups of schoolchildren from Trujillo, hoping to generate greater interest in the local cultural heritage. We're excited to see further results after this promising beginning at Pampas Gramalote! 

Master artisan Ivan Cruz instructing students in gourd carving and design.

More and more institutions and organizations want to hear about how we’ve achieved our results. SPI founder and Executive Director Larry Coben gave the keynote address of California State University Northridge’s Annual AnthroExpo this past April. This annual open house of the CSUN Department of Anthropology showcases the work of students, faculty, alumni, and other professional anthropologists, and they want SPI front and center. Coben also presented on SPI’s role connecting communities, archaeological sites, and the wider world to business technologists at LivePerson’s Aspire conference in New York City in June, while SPI associate Rebekah Junkermeier articulated SPI’s unique results at the ARCA (Association for Research into Crimes Against Art) in Italy later that month.
We are happy to announce new additions and positions to the SPI Team. In addition to his professorial duties at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP), Dr. Luis Jaime Castillo, long time director of the San Jose de Moro Project, will be joining SPI as the Executive Director for the Americas. Santiago Uceda, long-time archaeological project director at the famous Huaca de la Luna (a large adobe structure at the site believed to be the ancient Moche capital), will chair our Peruvian Advisory Board. Welcome on board, Dr. Castillo and Dr. Uceda!
SPI Board and Donors will travel to Peru July 27th – August 4th. To view our current and potential projects, the SPI Board and donors will visit San Jose de Moro and Pampas Gramalote, as well as take inside-the-fence tours of famous sites such as Huaca de la Luna (mentioned above), Chotuna, Caral, and Chankillo. We still have room for a few significant donors. Contact us for details.

The main mural at the ancient site of Huaca de la Luna.
In addition to our commitment to economic sustainability mentioned above, we are also committed to results and transparency. We require all of our projects to report the results of our grants and we want to share these results with our supporters and the public. As you’ve read in previous updates, earlier this year we collaborated with Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business to investigate the potential of using our unique paradigm of preservation at several endangered archaeological sites in Jordan. After thorough reports and meetings from the Tuck team that mapped everything from political unrest to the struggling tourism market there, we have decided to defer entrance into Jordan to 2013. Check out our brand new website for the full report.
The world is hungry for SPI’s unique paradigm of preservation that saves sites and transforms lives. From Peru to Columbia, Belize, Chile, and Guatemala, we are receiving an outpouring of requests for SPI projects around the globe. All it takes to join us in our humanitarian and cultural effort is the click of a button: donate at our new website today. In fact, do more than contribute: Please consider becoming a member of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative. As an honorary “Gourd Carver,” “Ceramicist,” “Tour Guide,” or “Master Artisan,” you will receive member-only updates, access to our member-only community on our "People Not Stones" blog, and the satisfaction of knowing that you’re empowering impoverished communities and preserving cultural heritage for future generations to study and enjoy.
Last, but not least, thank you. A big thank you to Joseph Kim, Kyoko Kaneda, and their team at Nexops for all of their work and dedication on SPI’s new website.
Thank you again for your continued support,
Larry Coben and the Sustainable Preservation Initiative

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