Few schools in Costa Rica, especially the rural schools, have the resources to take students on a field trip or to even provide an in-class session on the cultural resources of Costa Rica, such as the important archaeological site at Guayabo National Monument.
The national monument, 18 kilometers (11 miles) by road north of the city of Turrialba, encompasses a partially excavated ceremonial center and capital of a chiefdom. Apparently first occupied about 3,000 years ago, the city was at the peak of its size, power, and influence between 1000 and 1400 A.D., but was then abandoned shortly before the arrival in Costa Rica of the Spanish.
Fundación Tayutic, a non-profit tax-exempt organization based in Turrialba, is seeking to help Costa Rican students learn about this part of their cultural heritage by creating a mobile museum in a bus with which to take the story of Guayabo National Monument to the schools. The mobile museum will include interactive exhibits teaching about the archaeological site, the science of archaeology, and the lifestyles of the people who built Guayabo’s ancient city and lived there for about 2,500 years.
Fundraising for this effort is being conducted through Fundación Tayutic, using the Web site www.IndieGoGo.com as a place where donations may be made and where information about the Mobile Museum in a Bus Project may be seen. Donations, which are tax-exempt in Costa Rica, may also be made directly to Fundación Tayutic by contacting the volunteer executive director, Robert Oldham, who is retired from a career in the museum field in the United States, having worked at history, science, and children’s museums. Information about contacting Oldham can be found at the Web site of Fundación Tayutic at www.fundaciontayutic.org.
The IndieGoGo campaign will end March 24. The fundraising goal for the Mobile Museum in a Bus Project is $10,000, which will be used to acquire, convert, and equip a bus, probably a used school bus, for operation as a mobile learning center to support education about the prehispanic cultural heritage of Costa Rica.