Maribel has a passion for history, and she especially enjoys exploring the artifacts that different cultures have created and left for us through time. This appreciation for historic artifacts led her to an interest in the Preservation of Cultural Heritage especially related to vernacular architecture and the conservation of earthen constructions. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, Maribel worked in the southwestern United States, documenting and preparing conservation plans for historic adobe structures at Fort Davis and Fort Union, and in archaeological sites of homes and villages built by the Ancient Pueblo peoples or Anasazi tribe, including Mesa Verde and Casa Grande. In the east coast, she has prepared conservation projects for Drayton Hall SC, Jefferson’s Poplar Forest VA and has worked as a preservation architect and architectural conservator in New Jersey, New York, and the Greater Philadelphia area.
In her native Peru, Maribel founded Patrimonio Peru, a not-for-profit organization that received grants for the documentation and preservation of Colonial vernacular architecture in rural Peru from the Getty Foundation and the World Monuments Fund. Maribel has worked with conservation projects including 40 colonial churches in the Oyon Valley and the Iglesia de Nuestra Sra de Guadalupe in Pacasmayo, Trujillo. She has also participated in several Terra International Conferences and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the International Scientific Committee of Earthen Architectural Heritage (ISEAH) a Committee of ICOMOS international.
Current advisors: Carla Guerrón-Montero (ANTH), Vicki Cassman (ARTC), Jessica Horton (ARTH), Peter Roe (ANTH), Lindsay Naylor (GEOG) and Paul Jackson (GEOG).
TOPIC: Preservation of Indigenous Cultural Landscapes
The focus of my dissertation is the preservation of Indigenous Landscapes in the Rainforest of Peru. My research will comprise the documentation of a specific area in the Peruvian Amazon to identify both the tangible and intangible material culture of the members of the Esa’Eja indigenous community. My plan is to categorize the main preservation challenges and develop options to protect their endangered culture. I will address preservation practices from an interdisciplinary point of view, involving professionals from the fields of anthropology, tourism, geopolitics, and environmental and public policy.
The protection of indigenous material culture and cultural landscapes may be considered a local problem, but it is global in scale. As multinational interests continue to concentrate on gaining access to our scarce natural resources and governments apply laws and regulations to constrict indigenous communities’ territories, indigenous people face the depletion of their natural resources and struggle to keep and protect their traditional territories.