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    Youth of Costa Rica Strengthen Their Leadership Capacities for the Protection and Sustainable Use of World Heritage

    In this way becoming leaders in the protection and sustainable use of pre-Columbian Diquís stone spheres

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    The second phase of workshops of the “Young Leaders of Diquís” project was carried out in the past days. Throughout these, the participants have had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on world heritage and continue to strengthen their soft skills to become leaders in the protection and sustainable use of pre-Columbian chiefdom settlements with Diquís stone spheres, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2014.

    In this phase of the training project, 60 young people selected from the first phase of the project, which took place between June 18th and 27th, participated. On this occasion, the workshops have focused on providing basic notions about World Heritage, historical aspects about the chiefdom settlements of the Diquís, their universal exceptional value, the link they keep with the communities and their potential for sustainable development at the local level, especially through cultural tourism.

    Involving the Youth

    The project “Young Leaders of the Diquís” is implemented by UNESCO and the National Museum of Costa Rica and is financed thanks to German cooperation. Its objective is to involve the youth of 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 assets.

    “UNESCO maintains that cultural heritage offers important opportunities to boost economic growth, cultural development and the well-being of local communities, provided it is used responsibly and sustainably. The “Young Leaders of Diquís” project aims to give them tools and knowledge so that they can exercise and defend their cultural rights, develop their capacity for action in society to the maximum and become agents of change for the benefit of sustainable development” declares Caroline Munier, Cultural Program Specialist of the UNESCO San José Multi-Country Office.

    A main goal

    “The protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage is one of the goals contemplated in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. From UNESCO’s perspective, youth participation is key in this work, as it ensures the transmission of assets and the cultural knowledge and values associated with them”, she added.

    The “Young Leaders of Diquís” project will have a third phase of training activities that will take place from September, focused on organizational strengthening, aimed at a select number of young participants in this second phase. Ultimately, the project seeks to promote the organization of youth 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 characterized by the presence of megalithic spheres.

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