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jean@heritance.org

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Heritance
December 16, 2007

Hello, My name is Jean Bermon, I' m a french architect traveling right now in the Chiapas (Mexico) for Heritance. Here is an overview of my work with the Museum of Costumes funded in San Cristobal by Sergio Castro, an agricultural engineer, dedicated to Indians community. The principal goal of the museum is to introduce the public (principally foreigners) to the diversity of contemporary Mayan culture. The museum also raises money for projects in public health (clean water) and education (school construction). The museum possesses a 100 traditional formal and daily outfits coming from different communities in Chiapas. It is unique because typically all clothing is buried with the dead along with all of their personal possessions. The museum also has the following objects in its collection: masks, jewelry, musical instruments, statues, religious objects.. The collection has always been kept in a rented space because the museum lacks the funds to buy a space. For this reason, the collection has never been placed on exhibit. Because of the precarity of the museum , Heritance proposes the following intervention: - protect and facilitate the long-term conservation of costumes, which are currently exposed to numerous destructive agents: light, touch, chemicals, bacteria (especially the plant-based fabrics from the Lacandon community). - to create an exhibit and furthermore make it compatible with traveling exhibits and long-term storage (display w/ light, labels & adequate in all respects for long-term storage) - to create a self-guided visit to increase the number of visits possible to the collection. Some other people I met here are very supportive: Christiane, a member of the french association taking care of the projects funding. Nadia and Fabien, a couple living in San Cristobal, involve in many social projects. After six days of work together, we have been able to achieve our goals: • to write the synopsis of a new program for the better presentation of the artifacts. • to draw the outline of a new display. • to collect the informations in order to have this display realized on place. • to ensure a long distance relationship through basecamp, our working site on the Internet. This is just the beginning of a wonderful experience we wish to share with you.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The unusual character of this modest institution, funded by a man, Sergio, looking after the Indian community and getting precious gifts in exchange in order to show them to everybody in a museum.

Ways to make it better...

If I would be able to speak a better spanish !

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & I'm one of the board members.