FUNDAR and the Secretaría de Cultura Sign Agreement for the Co-administration of Cihuatán

July 12, 2010

Above, from the left: Dr. Rodrigo Brito (President of FUNDAR), Dr. Héctor Jesús Samour (Secretary of Culture), and Dr. Ramón Rivas (National Director of Cultural Heritage).

Below: Marielos Portillo (Head of Public Relations, Secretaría de Cultura) present in the signing of the agreement.


Message from the President of FUNDAR

Dear Friends:
It is with great satisfaction that we inform you that a Cooperative Agreement was signed today between the Fundación Nacional de Arqueología de El Salvador, FUNDAR and the Secretary of Culture. FUNDAR will now administer the Cihuatán Archaeological Park for the Secretary of Culture.

The document was signed in the offices of the Secretary of Culture. Present were the Secretary himself, Dr. Héctor Samour, Dr. Rodrigo Brito, President of FUNDAR , and Dr. Ramón Rivas, National director of Cultural They all signed the document of cooperation in the presence of numerous members of the media..

Dr. Samour expressed his satisfaction with this Agreement, which is an example of the importance which this Secretary gives to the cooperation of civil society in projects which benefit our nation. Dr. Brito discussed the importance of Cihuatán within the national archaeological heritage and mentioned that the agreement which FUNDAR has been given at this time , FUNDAR accepts with the same seriousness and sense of responsibility that we had in the past.

We remind you that FUNDAR participated in the co administration and in investigation at Cihuatán between 1999 y 200 and that the enormous input of energy we dedicated to this task culminated in the inauguration of the site as an official archaeological park. With the signing of this historic agreement, FUNDAR returns to Cihuatán !!!!

Dr. Rodrigo Brito, President of FUNDAR


Description of the Agreement

The agreement signed don July 12, 2010 between the Secretaría de Cultura and FUNDAR stipulates that FUNDAR will continue in the co-administration of Cihuatán, as it did during 10 years, starting off with an abandoned site and culminating with its inauguration as an archaeological park. The agreement is annual (renewable) and specifies that FUNDAR will be responsible for maintaining the park’s infrastructure and for such improvements are accorded with the Secretaría. Under a separate document, FUNDAR is authorized to continue investigations at Cihuatán under the pertinent norms and regulations.

During this event, Dr. Héctor Samour (Secretary of Culture) and Dr. Ramón Rivas (National Director of Cultural Heritage) made a special recognition of the effective and positive work in archaeological investigations and in the defense of archaeological heritage which FUNDAR has demonstrated during its long trajectory.

As he has done on prior occasions, Dr. Rodrigo Brito, President of FUNDAR, again expressed that he wished to encourage other specialists to participate in the investigation of the immense prehispanic city of Cihuatán, in which there is work for many generations of archaeologists.

Now FUNDAR will again be able to monitor Cihuatán in order to detect and report damage or destruction, including the area of the “housing project” which destroyed approximately 3.5 hectares (8.6 acres) of the archaeological site during the interval when FUNDAR did not participate in its administration, between December, 2009 and early 2010.

We applaud the fact that the Secretaría de Cultura is opening spaces to include civil society in the safeguard and management of cultural heritage.

With these open doors, we hope to see that other individuals and groups who in the recent past have expressed interest in the management of El Salvador’s archaeological parks will now demonstrate their commitment to archaeological heritage by requesting to co-administer Joya de Cerén, San Andrés, or for a greater challenge, Quelepa where the Government for many years has owned part of the site but up to now is like Cihuatán a decade ago: forsaken.


Newspaper Articles about the Agreement

July 14, 2010, La Prensa Gráfica

Acuerdo de SEC y FUNDAR sobre Cihuatán


July 12, 2010, El Diario de Hoy

FUNDAR y SEC firman un convenio de cooperación