The international workshop “Strengthening of the capacities of national and local teams in the preservation of the stone structures of Qhapaq Ñan” was held from 21 to 23 June 2017 in the municipality of Alausí, Ecuador. The workshop was the second activity conducted within the framework of the project “Support of the strengthening of the participatory management system of the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System”, supported by UNESCO and the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of World Heritage.
The activity was facilitated by the Ecuadorian National Institute of Cultural Heritage, supported by the Technical Secretariat for Qhapaq Ñan and the Decentralized Autonomous Municipal Government of Alausí. Engineer Carlos Cano Núñez led the theoretical and practical activities related to the preventative, remedial, and restorative processes to stone structures. The importance of preserving stone structures is fundamental to maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of Qhapaq Ñan, especially given that many of the pathways are still actively used by local communities.
The objective of the workshop was the development of a preliminary paper on the strategies for the training in stone structure conservation for national, provincial, and local technicians involved with the property’s management, as well as the community leaders of the surrounding villages of the Qhapaq Ñan road system.
Field activities involved the integration of scientific conservation and restoration knowledge with local indigenous communities’ wisdom and traditional building techniques. In this sense, the workshop facilitated dialogue and knowledge exchange helping to establish best practices for the conservation of stone structures in the many component sites within Qhapaq Ñan.