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Unesco News
Medio De Difusion: Internet/Digital

País: Costa Rica
Idioma: Inglés

Youth Leadership Protection

Youth from southern Costa Rica consolidate their leadership in World Heritage protection


More than 40 young people from the south of Costa Rica have participated in the third and last phase of workshops in the framework of the project "Young Leaders of the Diquís", implemented by UNESCO and the National Museum of Costa Rica (MNCR). On this occasion, in addition to deepening their knowledge about World Heritage and strengthening their soft skills, the young participants could focus on the creation of a youth organization for the protection of the pre-Columbian chiefdom settlements with stone spheres of the Diquís, inscribed in 2014 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

This third round of workshops took place over several weekends between September and November 2021. During the first session of workshops, the participants familiarized themselves with the legal requirements for establishing a community-based organization and defined the foundations of their future youth association. During the second session, held in the indigenous territory of Boruca, they approved the statutes of their association. In the third session, they focused on consolidating their knowledge on cultural heritage and their leadership and teamwork skills.

In order to reinforce their knowledge on the Diquis chiefdom settlements, and on World Heritage in general, they received support from the ICOMOS international expert Mathieu Dormaels, accompanied by MNCR archaeologist Francisco Corrales.

According to the UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of World Heritage (known as the 1972 Convention), the protection of cultural heritage is intrinsically linked to the protection of natural heritage and the environment. During these workshops, the young participants have had the opportunity to volunteer in activities such as tree planting and pond cleaning, accumulating more than 617 volunteer hours.

In addition, following these workshops, several young participants have visited various schools and colleges in the area with an MNCR educator to promote knowledge about the World Heritage sites. They also participated as volunteers in field days at the archaeological sites with MNCR researchers.

The project "Young Leaders of the Diquis" implemented within the framework of the World Heritage Fund, thanks to a financial contribution of Germany, aims to involve the youth of the surrounding communities in the protection of the four pre-Columbian settlements inscribed on the World Heritage List: Finca 6, Grijalba, El Silencio and Batambal. UNESCO states that youth participation is key to the protection and promotion of cultural heritage, as it ensures the transmission of the properties and the knowledge and cultural values associated with them.

If used responsibly, cultural heritage offers significant opportunities to drive economic growth, the enhancement of cultural diversity, the well-being of local communities, and the achievement of the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

More information:

Costa Rican youth strengthens their leadership capacities for the protection and sustainable use of World Heritage

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