MOCHE’s goal is to preserve the 10 most endangered archaeological sites in the Moche Valley in the next 10 years. We are well on our way!
Using our model, outlined here, MOCHE protects these sites, to preserve the valuable information that they provide into how the people before us lived, farmed, built empires and died. We are in the process of mapping, formalizing (legally with the Peruvian Ministry of Culture) and protecting four distinct community preserves, with the buy-in and assistance of more than 8 communities.
We work with community members to prevent illegal squatting on the site by individual families, mining companies and international agribusinesses. Additionally these communities apply pressure and help the Ministry of Culture prevent local looters from desecrating grave yards or looting prehistoric households, ceremonial centers and administrative structures. Though we construct boundary markers and signs, the single most important part are the communities themselves. They notify the local authorities when illegal activities are taking place and together we are making significant progress.
Our long-term goal is to turn these sites into economic opportunities for the local community members, tapping into the multimillion dollar a year cultural tourism industry in nearby Trujillo. Paths and sign posts with local guides and artisan co-ops are a few of the early initiatives. Additionally, family businesses like sites and restaurants will be able to benefit from such development and opportunity.