FUNDAR is the Fundación Nacional de Arqueología de El Salvador (National Foundation of Archaeology of El Salvador), the only non-governmental organization in the country dedicated to the conservation, protection, and investigation of Salvadoran archaeology.

FUNDAR was formally established in 1996 by a group of Salvadoran citizens, with the participation of archaeologists from El Salvador, Guatemala, the United States, and France, who united together with the common goal of contributing to safeguarding, investigating, and disseminating our archaeological heritage.

FUNDAR has carried out several projects in coooperation with the cultural organ of the Salvadoran government. FUNDAR participated through the end of 2009 in the administration, protection, and development for visitors of the following archaeological parks:

Cihuatán Archaeological Park

Joya de Cerén Archaeological Park

San Andrés Archaeological Park

Tazumal Archaeological Park

Casa Blanca Archaeological Park

In September, 2009, FUNDAR decided to end its participation in the arduous task of co-managing the archaeological parks in order to fully dedicate itself to investigation and dissemination of our country's archaeological heritage. Our involvement terminated on December 31st, 2009, with the end of the yearly agreement between FUNDAR and the Government. Read our President's statement by clicking here. On July 12, 2010, after meetings held with the Secretaría de Cultura, we signed a new agreement to continue in the co-administration of Cihuatán.

FUNDAR carried out conservation and investigation projects at Cihuatán since 1999, including its development and inauguration as an archaeological park in 2007.

In addition to the support and cooperation of the government, of key importance has been the donation to FUNDAR of an endowment by USAID (United States Agency for International Development). FUNDAR has also received grants from the private sector in El Salvador and the United States, from the Office of Public Affairs of the US Embassy in El Salvador, and the Ford Motor Company Foundation.

FUNDAR is currently conducting a project sponsored by the United States Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation at Cihuatán.

FUNDAR enjoys the permanent sponsorhip of the Hospitales de Diagnóstico de El Salvador

People in FUNDAR include:

President of FUNDAR: Rodrigo Brito Lara

Staff Archaeologists: Paul Amaroli and Edgar Cabrera, with periodic participation by Karen Bruhns who in addition to giving generously of her time and travel expenses, has also donated equipment to the project at Cihuatán, including two total stations and a drone.

Secretary: Sonia Claribel González de López

We wish to express our gratitude and appreciation to Rafael Amaya (former Parks Manager) and Morena Guadalupe Hernández López (secretary) for their years of service in FUNDAR, from 2005 through 2009.

Morena Guadalupe Hernández (Secretary), Rafael Amaya (former Parks Manager), and Sonia Claribel González de López (Secretary).


Other archaeologists who have worked with FUNDAR include Fabio Estéban Amador, Matilde Gil, Elisende Coladan, Vladimir Avila, Zachary Revene, and John Hooper.

Among the students who have participated in FUNDAR projects are: Miriam Méndez, Liuba Morán (both now graduated), Astrid Francia, Edgar Cabrera, Alejandro Teba, Luís Sibrián, and Federico Paredes (now graduated).

Founding members of FUNDAR:

Miguel Ernesto Lacayo
Salvador Mauricio Hidalgo Canjura
Gregorio Bello Suazo Cobar
Karen Olsen Bruhns
Irma Etelvina Flores
Payson Daniel Sheets
Elisende Montserrat Antoinette Coladan Deleglise
Francisco Roberto Gallardo Mejía
Juan Antonio Valdez Gómez
Julia Hortensia Barillas
Mariela Peña Pinto
José Rafael Padilla Morales
Fabio Esteban Amador
Alberto Miguel Cohen Pinto
Adolfo José Payan Leiva
Rodrigo Alfonso Brito Lara
Enrique Altamirano Madriz
José Panadés Vidrí
Manuel Roberto López
Paul Eugene Amaroli
Manuel Murcia (Víctor Manuel Martínez Mejía)
Rodolfo Alfredo Portal
Carlos Alberto Leiva Cea
Angel Estévez Ulloa
José Mauricio Payan Leiva
José Luís Cabrera Arévalo
Diego Manuel Alvarez Magaña
Mauricio Schwartz


Mailing address:

Fundación Nacional de Arqueología de El Salvador, FUNDAR

Telephone: (country code 503) 2505-5715

Email: [email protected]

Visit our sister website dedicated to the Cihuatán archaeological site: www.cihuatan.org

Culture in Government

The Secretaría de Cultura (www.cultura.gob.sv) is the Government's cultural organ (it replaced CONCULTURA in July, 2009). The officials directly concerned with archaeology include:

Secretary de Cultura: Silvia Elena Regalado

Director Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural y Natural: Marlon Escamilla

Head of the Departamento de Arqueología: Hugo Díaz

Director of the Museo Nacional de Antropología Dr. David J. Guzmán (MUNA): José Heriberto Erquicia

Present and former government archaeologists who have worked as supervisors of FUNDAR projects:

  • Miriam Méndez
  • Marlon Escamilla
  • Heriberto Erquicia
  • Claudia Ramírez
  • Fabricio Valdivieso
  • Shione Shibata
  • Liuba Morán
  • Julio Alvarado