Young people in El Salvador make inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage for peacebuilding
Young people from Jiquilisco, in El Salvador, participated in a practical inventorying exercise of intangible cultural heritage organised by UNESCO, in the framework of the project #SoyParte, Youth for a peaceful, just and sustainable future, which aims to promote the participation of youth in vulnerable conditions in decision-making processes in favour of peace.
This project envisages a series of activities for the construction of safe spaces that foster cultural exchange. These activities include inventories of intangible cultural heritage: knowledge, traditions and cultural practices that are passed on from generation to generation and shape the cultural identity of a community. Inventories are important resources for identifying and safeguarding the cultural expressions that make up this living heritage.
Inventorying intangible cultural heritage is an exercise that broadens perspectives on one’s own culture and that of others, thus fostering mutual understanding, respect for cultural diversity and the formulation of joint solutions to common problems. It also invites participants to establish a new relationship with their community, their territory and the city or town they live in.
Between 7 and 9 July 2022, young people from the communities of Puerto Ávalos and El Peña, in the municipality of Jiquilisco, were the protagonists of the process. The elaboration of inventories is characterised as a participatory, inclusive and community-led process. The exercise was led by Ms Eva Martínez, expert and facilitator of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage – known as the 2003 Convention.
The project “#SoyParte: Youth for a peaceful, just and sustainable future” is implemented by UNESCO, UNFPA and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), in partnership with the Asociación Generaciones de Paz (ASDEPAZ), with support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.
César Artigas, president and director of ASDEPAZ, pointed out that, for his association, this initiative “is a matter of special interest, as part of its commitment to accompany community and territorial processes, where culture is an essential aspect to bring about the urgent and necessary transformations to ensure the care of life and the global common good”.
UNESCO argues that youth participation in cultural life is an important factor in building peaceful societies, as it is a key population for driving social change, economic growth and environmental action, within the framework of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.