It’s one of the most important pre-Columbian pilgrimage sites in the Americas. To learn more about the archaeological complex, check out our guide to Pachacamac here.
Because of its proximity to Lima, the Lurín area surrounding the site grew exponentially in population resulting in land invasions throughout the 20th century. Lurín borders Villa el Salvador, which started as a shantytown in the 1970s and is now a district of Lima. Land trafficking continues to affect the preservation of Pachacamac, with land sellers claiming property of the place and looking to knock down the walls protecting the archeological site.
With the help of the organization Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI), locals are participating in a project aimed to safeguard the site, educate residents and improve their quality of life. The initiative was highlighted by National Geographic, take a look.
Along with the Pachacamac Site Museum, SPI supports local women through the creation of SISAN, an organization through which women can create products with the iconography of Pachacamac and sell them through the museum’s shop. Meaning flowering in Quechua, this economic and social hub gives local women a source of income while allowing them to take part in the prosperity of the archaeological site. “The people here feel like they are a part of their own history and that of Pachacamac,” says Denise Pozzi-Escot, director of the museum.
Another project aimed to education children and support the work of archaeologists in Pachacamac is The Room for Archaeologists and Kids. The structure is a woven pavilion that provides a shaded space for archaeological examinations, while also allowing visitors and children from nearby schools to observe experts at work. The structure won the 2019 architecture project of the year and small building award from Dezeen architecture and design magazine. Learn more about it here.
Cover photo: SISAN Facebook Page
This article has been updated from its original publication by Ana Gamero on Marcb 9, 2017.
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