The El Cano Foundation achieved it's goal of reopening the the El Cano Archaeological Museum in April 2019 with an exhibit of artifacts discovered between 2010 and 2016 in the over 1000-year-old necropolis. Now the project moves to the stage of preservation and maintenance of the museum, exhibit and artifacts. There is still work to do in and around the building as well as the exhibit, work that was left undone due to lack of funds. Continued investigation of the site is planned for 2020.
The archaeological park and museum are suffering from lack of funding, which is causing a loss of conservation of artifacts and opportunities for educating the public, both local and visitors, about the pre-Columbian history of Panama. It is a lost avenue of education and training opportunities for students wishing to enter the fields of anthropology, archaeology and history. This has also hampered the economic development of the local communities of El Cano and Nata de los Caballeros.
The Foundation aims to set in motion a virtuous cycle; more visitors leading to more funding, and more funding supporting both improvements to the museum and continued excavations and investigation of the necropolis. Visitors will increase by having interesting and educational exhibits, tours of a conserved and maintained park and appropriate guest services. With continued funding for excavation, more artifacts with be located which will lead to a better understanding of Panama's history.
Better facilities will enable quality educational programs to be hosted about Panamanian history and archaeology. Hosting archaeology field schools is one goal, allowing the training of future archaeologists and the continued investigation of the tombs and ceremonial areas. With increased visitors, more local jobs will be created. All of these factors are interconnected and a part of the rescue and maintenance of the archaeological museum.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Foundation web page
description of the project with budget
virtual data repository in English
information video about Fundacion El Cano