About Us

Welcome to People Not Stones, the official blog of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI). Our mission is to preserve the world’s cultural heritage by providing life-changing and sustainable economic opportunities to poor communities in which endangered archaeological sites are located.

Our mantra is “Saving Sites by Transforming Lives”. We want to empower local communities to alleviate poverty and preserve their past by embracing their heritage and sites as economic assets. People can’t eat their history. We need to provide an alternative to other potential economic uses of archaeological sites such as looting, agriculture, grazing, and residential and commercial uses. In this way, we can help people both improve their lives and give them a powerful economic incentive to preserve our shared heritage.

SPI believes the best way to preserve cultural heritage is creating or supporting locally owned businesses whose success is tied to that preservation. We provide grants for rapidly implementable projects to existing or start-up businesses in areas such as tourism, guides, restaurants, hostels, transportation and artisans. Our grants provide a TWO for the price of ONE benefit: they create transformative opportunities for local residents while preserving the world’s cultural heritage. We have developed four projects and expect to increase that number during the next year.

People Not Stones will keep you up-to-date with all things SPI including our views on economic development, preservation and community empowerment around the world. So subscribe,comment and re-blog at will and get to know the Sustainable Preservation Initiative!

You can find more information about SPI on our website www.sustainablepreservation.org and by following us at our twitter handle @SPInitiative.

1 thought on “About Us

  1. Hello,

    My name is Jim O’Donnell. I am a former archaeologist currently working as a freelance writer and photographer.

    My website is Around the World in Eighty Years: http://www.aroundtheworldineightyyears.com/

    Here is a recent article I wrote for an online publication: http://www.perceptivetravel.com/issues/0413/panama.html

    I’m working on a story (could turn into a series) about archaeology, preservation and tourism. I’m specifically looking at South America to start with but will be pulling on information from other regions to help inform my readers.

    My story will look at the use of tourism to both promote archaeological preservation and further research as well as to help local economies.

    Would it be possible to talk with you this week either via email or phone? I’d like to pick your brain about both successes and failures you may know about, about the possibilities and to help me find some places to profile.

    Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you.



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