Interested in saving the world’s cultural heritage? Want to transform local communities while doing it? So do we. The Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI) is a new non-profit whose mission is to save cultural heritage sites around the globe, but in an entirely new way: through local economic development.
Traditionally, preservation organizations will throw a bunch of money at a site, building large and expensive museums or visitor centers in an attempt to attract tourism and protect the site from looting and decay. Time and time again, however, this paradigm fails. The museums close, the visitor centers are empty, and the site isn’t preserved and continues to be looted, often by the impoverished local community. We think the problem with this model is the point of focus: the people actually living in the area tend to be an afterthought, if that. To provide themselves and their families with the essentials, it’s not uncommon for local residents to take stones and artifacts, grow crops, or graze livestock on the sites. To prevent these destructive practices, SPI creates jobs by investing in locally-created and -run businesses whose success is tied to the preservation of the site. Not only are lives in the community transformed, but the endangered archaeological sites are preserved in a completely sustainable way.
Currently, we have two projects in Peru, one at San Jose de Moro and one at Pampas Gramalote, and are hoping to expand to three more sites by the end of the year.
We are looking for smart, self-motivated individuals passionate about cultural heritage and economic development to assist with the following this fall:
- Organizing traditional and online fundraising programs
- Writing and reviewing grant applications and reports
- SPI’s website, Facebook page, and other social media
- Preparing presentation materials
- Administrative work
- Assisting the Executive Director
Join us in saving sites by transforming lives!
We are located in New York City, but remote (online) internship positions will be considered depending on the candidate.
To apply, please email Rebekah Junkermeier, Program and Development Associate at SPI, at Rebekah@sustainablepreservation.org with a cover letter, CV, and short writing sample.