New Projects, Awards, Jobs, and Progress: The Latest SPI Update

Check out SPI News here in our most recent update, featuring:

-Yale Archaeologist Gabriel Prieto’s award for his work in Pampas Gramalote, Peru.

-Archaeologist and SPI Peruvian Director Solisre Cusicanqui in SOMOS,  one of Peru’s most popular magazines.

-New jobs to be created at our newest initiative at Pampas Gramalote, Peru.

The Top 5 Things You Can Do to Support Impoverished Communities and Archaeology

Want to help impoverished communities? Like archaeology?

Our list for ways to benefit both:

1. Visit!

Festival at San Jose de Moro, Peru

Put on your adventure shoes and travel to smaller, lesser-known-but-just-as-amazing places like San Jose de Moro and Pampas Gramalote in Peru. You get to see ancient ruins, learn about some incredible history (did you know the ancient Moche performed human sacrifice??), and sample new cuisine. The local community gets to share and preserve their cultural heritage by earning money that supports the community. It’s win-win.

2. Buy beautiful, locally-made artisanal work.

Locally-crafted ceramics like those found in excavations at San Jose de Moro.

You could leave your vacation with a cheap souvenir made elsewhere, or you could purchase a hand-crafted local work of art, such as a replica ceramic from San Jose de Moro, or a reed mat hand-woven with a technique passed down through the centuries from Pampas Gramalote. Wherever you go, support local work and artisans. It brings in thousands of dollars to those communities.

3. Donate!

Don’t have time for trekking in Peru or Jordan? Go to the SPI website and donate here. Any amount, large or small, helps fund grants that invest in locally-created and -run businesses that secure the preservation of cultural heritage for future generations to study and enjoy.

4. Spread the Word!

We’re doing amazing work, but we need your help! Keep checking our blog, join us on Facebook, stay up-to-date on Twitter (SPInitiative) and tell your friends. Our paradigm for preservation is unique and we need your help in getting the word out.

5. Encourage microlenders and other financiers to support projects of this type.

Inaugurating the new artisan and tourist center at San Jose de Moro.

Creating transformative opportunities that empower people to help themselves is the most responsible way to save the world. It makes it realistic and it makes it happen. It’s a TWO for the price of ONE benefit: empowering impoverished communities AND preserving endangered archaeological sites.

Photo of the Week

Gourds to be carved in Pampas Gramalote, Peru. Community artisans carving and painting gourds to sell to visitors will bring a sustainable income to Pampas Gramalote, site of our newest “People Not Stones” initiative.

Pampas Gramalote in National Geographic

In September, National Geographic reported on the discovery of an ancient mass grave of children and llamas uncovered by Yale archaeologist Oscar Gabriel Prieto and his team in Pampas Gramalote, Peru. Prieto is the most recent recipient of an SPI grant, with which he’ll be able to implement our paradigm for preservation, which uniquely focuses on the people of the local community, not just the stones of the nearby archaeological site (as most other preservation efforts do).

Check out National Geographic’s extraordinary photos of the mass grave here:

Check back in for updates on our project at Pampas Gramalote! We’ll be posting on Facebook ( and Twitter (SPInitiative) as well!