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

The second phase of workshops of the “Young Leaders of the Diquis” project took place between 28 June and 10 July 2021. Throughout these workshops, participants had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on World Heritage and continue strengthening their soft skills to become leaders in the protection and sustainable use of the Pre-Columbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquis, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2014.

This phase of the training project involved 60 young people selected from the first phase of the project, which took place between 18 and 27 June. On this occasion, the workshops have focused on providing basic notions about World Heritage, historical aspects of the Diquis Pre-Columbian settlements, their outstanding universal value, their link to the communities and their potential for sustainable development at the local level, especially through cultural tourism.

The project “Young Leaders of the Diquís” is implemented by UNESCO and the National Museum of Costa Rica and is funded thanks to German cooperation. It aims to involve youth from the communities surrounding the four pre-Columbian settlements inscribed on the World Heritage List in the southern part of Costa Rica in the protection of these cultural properties. UNESCO argues that cultural heritage offers important opportunities for economic growth, cultural development and the well-being of local communities, provided it is used in a responsible and sustainable manner.

The protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage is one of the targets of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. From UNESCO’s perspective, the participation of youth is key to this task, as it ensures the transmission of the cultural heritage, as well as the knowledge and values associated to it.

The project “Young Leaders of the Diquis” will have a third phase of training activities that will be carried out from September, focused on organisational strengthening, aimed at a selected number of young participants in this second phase. Ultimately, the project seeks to foster youth organisation for the co-management of World Heritage in their localities. The four chiefdom settlements of the Diquís inscribed on the World Heritage List are Finca 6, Batambal, Grijalba and El Silencio, which bear witness to the social development of the pre-Columbian peoples of southern Costa Rica and are characterised by the presence of megalithic spheres.



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