Photo of the Week

This past weekend in Peru, SPI archaeologist Solsire Cusicanqui led a group of local government officials to the top of the site of Cerro Chepen, the lower part of which is being destroyed by people wishing to flatten the area and sell the land to potential homeowners.

Female Entrepreneurs Feed San Jose de Moro

By Solsire Cusicanqui and Rebekah Junkermeier

The local residents of San José de Moro, Peru, are not only attracting visitors with their archaeological and artisanal treasures, but with their gastronomical ones as well. This past summer, a group of seven entrepreneurial women in the community started their own business preparing traditional Peruvian lunches for archaeologists, field school students, volunteers, and special guests at the archaeological site.

“We want visitors to learn about our food and to offer them a friendly atmosphere in our homes,” said Ms. Augustina, one of the entrepreneurial chefs. And teach and host they did, preparing traditional dishes from the North Coast such as arroz con pato (rice with duck), espesado (a thick rice soup with meat), and cuy (guinea pig–raised in their homes), as well as natural juices made from local fruits such as passion fruit, papaya, and chichi morada (purple corn). Through their project, foreign and Peruvian visitors alike were able to experience an authentic slice of San José de Moro life. The cultural exchange expanded beyond the food as visitors interacted with the women and their families, discussing recipes and typical dishes from their hometowns and using other students as translators for those who did not speak Spanish. The women have met with significant success: in the month of July, they brought in a total of $2,530 in revenue, an average of $360 for each chef.

The local business was such a hit that at the end of the field season, archaeologists, field school students, and guests held a contest to elect the best chef among the women. Although Augustina, Lidia, Norma, Pilar, Sonia, Flor, and Mara all cooked marvelous meals, only one could be the winner. The students and guests overwhelmingly chose Ms. Augustina as the best and she was awarded a new rice cooker as a prize.

Archaeologists, students, and guests surround Ms. Augustina (front and center) elected best chef.

We applaud the growing role of women in the local job market of San José de Moro and look forward to seeing the future entrepreneurial endeavors of these women and others!


Photo of the Week

A smile and a ceramic.

San Jose de Moro master artisan Julio Ibarrola holds one of his handmade ceramics, the sale of which brings sustainable income to the local community.

Get yours today on NOVICA (a global platform for local artisans around the world to sell their work)!

Many thanks to Isabel Hidalgo and Carmen García for the photo.

Photo of the Week

SPI Board Members take in the view in Chepen, Peru. Rich with cultural heritage (old and new), Chepen is on the northern coast of Peru, where two of our “People Not Stones” projects are currently located.

Photograph compliments of John Crary.

Photo of the Week

Jose Canziani, a well-known architect and town planner who is collaborating with the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, recently published the second edition of his book “Ciudad y territorio de los andes, contribuciones a la historia del urbanismo prehispánico” (City and territory of the Andes, contributions to the history of pre-Hispanic urbanism). A monumental work, this book covers more than five thousand years of pre-Hispanic history in Peru.

Today, Canziani leads two large architectural projects that promote SPI. Not only is he designing the entrance and site museum for San José de Moro, but also designing an artisan barrio and deliniating the borders of the archaeological and ecological spaces at the site of Bandurria, north of Lima.


El reconocido arquitecto y urbanista Jose Canziani, colaborador en Perú del Sustainable Preservation Intiative, acaba de publicar la segunda edición de su libro “Ciudad y territorio de los andes, contribuciones a la historia del urbanismo prehispánico”. Este libro es un monumental trabajo que cubre más de cinco mil años de historia prehispánica en el Perú.

Actualmente, el arq. Canziani se encuentra a cargo de dos grandes proyectos arquitectónicos que promueve el SPI.  El primero es el diseño de la entrada y museo de sitio del pueblo de San José de Moro, y el segundo tiene como objetivo diseñar el barrio de artesanos y la delimitación de los espacios arqueológicos y ecológicos en el sitio de Bandurria, al norte de Lima.

by Solsire Cusicanqui