UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

06/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/22/2021 15:09

Young people from southern Costa Rica are trained as leaders for World Heritage protection

Through a series of training activities, UNESCO and the National Museum of Costa Rica seek to train a new generation of leaders for the protection of the pre-Columbian chiefdom settlements with stone spheres of the Diquís, inscribed in 2014 on UNESCO's World Heritage List. These workshops, which are delivered through a combination of virtual and face-to-face modalities, are part of the project known as 'Young Leaders of the Diquis', which is funded through the World Heritage Centre, thanks to German cooperation.

The first phase of the project consists of a series of workshops that took place between 18 and 26 June, targeting a total of 161 selected young people from the canton of Osa and the indigenous territories of Boruca and Rey Curré, in the southern region of Costa Rica, where the pre-Columbian settlements of Finca 6, Grijalba, El Silencio and Batambal, are located. These sites were inscribed in the World Heritage List because they reflect the social, political, and economic development of the peoples who inhabited this region in pre-Columbian times and are characterised by the presence of megalithic spheres of various sizes.

The protection of the world's cultural and natural heritage is one of the targets of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The sustainable management of heritage by local communities can contribute decisively to economic growth, employment generation, knowledge creation and education for the respect of cultural diversity. For UNESCO, the involvement of youth in the management and protection of World Heritage is important to ensure the sustainable use of cultural heritage.

The younger generations play an important role in the protection and transmission of this heritage and in maintaining its value for the society. For this reason, the appropriation of cultural heritage by young people is ultimately one of the main objectives of our efforts for the preservation of cultural heritage

Caroline Munier, Culture Programme Specialist at the UNESCO Cluster Office in San Jose

The 'Young Leaders of the Diquis' project aims to provide youth with knowledge and capacities by strengthening soft skills to enhance their leadership abilities. The project will continue with two additional training phases, which will take place between July and October. All face-to-face soft skills strengthening activities have been prepared according to biosafety protocols and in compliance with current sanitary measures in Costa Rica.