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Museums as Tools for Sustainable Community Development: Four Archaeological Museums in Northern Peru

“By researching state-of-the-art initiatives in museums and community empowerment, and then moving beyond these initiatives to implement actions in partner countries, our aim has been both to transform individual lives within museum communities, and to create a method of implementation and evaluation that will be applicable to wider regions. The basis of the project is that community-based museums allow under-represented communities to stake a place in history, as well as to contribute to environmental sustainability and community empowerment.”

“Sustainability has become fundamental to the work of museums… In the Latin American context, authors such as De Carli stress the need for museums to contribute to community development; to achieve this goal, institutions must get to know their communities. They should familiarise themselves with the local people and their beliefs, customs and values, as well as with other aspects of local cultural heritage (De Carli 2004b). One central idea that informs the EU-LACMUSEUMS project in several countries is that of a museum whose core initiatives and actions are anchored in local

communities. The purpose of this article is to summarise the initiatives and findings of the EU-LAC-MUSEUMS Peru Case Study– developed within four museums in two regions on the Peruvian north coast– to nurture ties between these museums, their communities and local territorial development.”