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Alleviate Poverty! Create Jobs! Empower Entrepreneurs! And save two very important Peruvian archaeological sites!
Sustainable Preservation Initiative
Email Verified
New York
United States
1 Team Member



Returning stolen objects does not save archaeological sites, creating jobs does.  Help us create jobs, empower entrepreneurs, and save two very important sites!






READ ABOUT SPI ON NEWSWEEK: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/02/18/the-locals-need-to-dig-you.html

REUTERS FINANCIAL COLUMNIST FELIX SALMON ON SPI: http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/03/01/a-very-smart-way-to-save-antiquities/

HUFFINGTON POST ON SPI: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-coben/empowering-entrepreneurs-_b_2817819.html





Bandurria and Chotuna--two ancient communities in Peru with immense beauty and historical importance. Each is the home of extraordinary archaeological sites.

Bandurria contains some of the earliest monumental architecture of the Americas: four pyramids older than those of ancient Egypt where excavations have uncovered a society that marks the origin of civilization in the Andes.


The archaeological site of Chotuna is equally significant: 235-acres with monumental temples and pyramid complexes, where several royal tombs have been discovered. And more is being uncovered daily. 



These ancient sites are an essential part of our shared cultural heritage. They help us to understand the history of human beings on our planet and yet these precious sites are in danger of being lost forever. 

An even more urgent problem is that Bandurria and Chotuna are communities in which most families live far below the poverty line. Neither place can afford such basics as running water and electricity, and neither has a sewer system. There are few jobs, little income and no opportunity to escape this cycle of poverty.


Communities in Poverty

How can we alleviate poverty in these communities?
How can we save the archaeological sites?
Turns out, we can do both.

The Sustainable Preservation Initiative has come up with a unique paradigm that alleviates poverty by empowering entrepreneurs and creating jobs through local businesses whose financial success is dependent upon the preservation of the archaeological sites.  

Our People Not Stones model incentivizes the communities to preserve their cultural heritage sites as precious economic assets – ones that draw tourists to the sites. With the influx of people, there is demand for the art and handicrafts of the community. Production increases along with the need for stores, snack bars, showrooms, guides, and brochures.   

At Bandurria, our project will construct a communal artisan center where locals can produce their traditional reed weaving handicrafts and train future artisans, creating more local jobs in the community. The project includes a store for the sale of the handicrafts, a snack bar, and clean toilets for tourists. Our project at Chotuna empowers the local textile, gourd carving and other artisans by constructing a facility for artisan training and production as well as a small picnic and sales area for their work near the archaeological site.

People Not Stones will create transformative opportunities for local residents while saving invaluable archaeological sites for future generations to study and enjoy.  

When such a solution is possible, why settle for anything less?

We are currently raising funds to reach our goal of $49,000 to fully complete the project. And due to the generosity of one donor, any donation you make will be matched, doubling your contribution to the project.

Help us save sites and change lives at Bandurria and Chotuna, Peru, by donating to our project today!

Two communities empowered, two extraordinary sites saved.



Find This Campaign On
raised by 146 people in 1 month
100% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$49,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on March 26, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Acknowledgement and Thanks

    Donors at this level and above get acknowledged on our official website.

    9 claimed
  • $10USD
    Unique Photos of Projects

    Donors at this level and above receive two stunning electronic photographs of the archaeological sites of Bandurria and Chotuna, Peru.

    10 claimed
  • $20USD
    Bandurria Groundbreaking Pics

    Thanks to you, Bandurria is funded!! We will send you a set of beautiful digital photos from the groundbreaking.

    1 claimed
  • $25USD
    Handwritten 'Thank You' Note

    Donors receive a handwritten Thank You note from SPI.

    7 claimed
  • $50USD
    More Unique Photos

    Donors receive four stunning electronic photographs of the archaeological sites of Bandurria and Chotuna, Peru.

    11 claimed
  • $100USD
    SPI Membership and Key Chain

    Donors receive an SPI membership (featuring member only updates) and a SPI trowel key chain handmade by local artisans at our project at San Jose de Moro, Peru. If you contribute before or on Valentine’s Day, you’ll receive two!

    16 claimed
  • $250USD
    SPI T-shirt or Hat

    Donors at this level receive their choice of an SPI t-shirt or hat. If you contribute before or on Valentine’s Day, you’ll receive two!

    7 claimed
  • $500USD
    Handcrafted Artisan Gourd

    Donor receives a handmade gourd made by an SPI-sponsored artisan from our project at Pampas Gramalote, Peru.

    7 claimed
  • $500USD
    Signed Harlan Coben book

    Best selling Harlan Coben will sign a copy of his new bestseller, SIX YEARS, and you get to pick to whom!!

    4 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Any Reward Plus a Private Tour

    Donor receives his or her choice of one of the rewards and a tour of one of the archaeological sites of Bandurria or Chotuna by a local archaeologist.* (*Time must be mutually agreed upon. Travel expenses and translator not included.)

    3 claimed
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