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Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum

by Fundacion El Cano
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Ambassadors at El Cano museum
Ambassadors at El Cano museum

Since September, the two teams of four students each from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have completed their two projects involving the El Caño Archaeological Park. The projects consisted of the creation of a program of self-guided tour visits for English and French speakers and a study of the park's flora.

The students presented their projects and results to their WPI advisor, James Chiarelli, and to sponsors Rick Montanari of Footprint Possibilities, Inc. and Dr. Julia Mayo of the El Caño Foundation. At the end, all materials were delivered to Dr. Mayo.

As a result of the work completed by the students, the Fundación El Caño team has better data related to the flora in the park. Additionally, there is now an online self-guided tour of the park and museum in the Android store availble in English and French. The tour application will soon be availble in the Apple store. The students also provided a tri-fold map with an abbreviated version of the information that is in the application to be availble for visitors who do not have a smart cellular phone.

The National Secretariat for Science (SENACYT), Technology and Innovation publishes an magazine titled "IMAGINA".  Edition 11 showcased the exhibition that Fundación El Caño prepared for the Archaeological Museum of El Caño and utilized the iconic artifact known as "The "Bird Man" for the cover. "The Bird Man" is an interesting and beautiful gold pendant discovered in the tomb T2 of the Necropolis of El Caño.

Fundación El Caño participated in an event organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Directorate of Protocol and State Ceremonial, Tourism Diplomacy "The Cutarra Experience". Fundación El Caño received 16 ambassadors from different countries, all stationed in Panama. Dr. Julia Mayo conducted a tour of the museum and park for them. These events help disseminate the information concerning the progress being made in El Caño.

The January 2020 edition of "Journal of Archaeological Science" includes the article "Golden artefacts, resin figurines, body adhesives and tomb sediments from the pre-Columbian burial site El Caño (Gran Coclé, Panamá): Tracing organic contents using molecular archaeometry". This article was authored by several members of the Fundacion El Caño team and partners.

Self Guided Tour, Android store
Self Guided Tour, Android store
IMAGINA magazine
IMAGINA magazine
WPI students flora study team
WPI students flora study team
WPI students self-guided tour team
WPI students self-guided tour team
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Worcester Polytechnic students in El Cano
Worcester Polytechnic students in El Cano

Fundación El Caño was approached by the non-profit organization Footprint Possibilities, Inc., to coordinate a project with students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. We articulated a desire to create a manner to allow non-Spanish speakers to do a self-guided tour of the park and museum. Worcester Polytechnic Institute agreed to take on the project and assigned four students to it.

The students have been working since March on creating a minimum of a map indicating points of interest with accompanying text. The ultimate goal is to create an on-line application self-guided tour in English and French,

We are looking forward to being able to provide non-Spanish speaking visitors aa fully interactive and educational experience.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute also agreed to assign four students to conduct a study of the plants in the park. The purpose of the study is to allow Fundación El Caño to determine if and how the ecology of the area has changed over the last millenium.

The students arrived in Panama August 21st and having been working at the park on their projects. On September 7th, a prototype of the self guided tour application was tested in the park by visitors. Once finalized the tour will be availble in English and French.

Self guided tour app prototype being tested
Self guided tour app prototype being tested
Museum Self guided tour prototype test
Museum Self guided tour prototype test
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Ribbon cutting ceremony
Ribbon cutting ceremony

  On April 12, 2019, the newly renovated El Caño Archaeological Museum was inaugurated as a result of funding from the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT), National Cultural Institute (INAC) and private donations. The Fundación El Caño team curated exhibits containing some of the artifacts recovered from the first six tombs they excavated at the necropolis. For the first two weeks, the exhibits included the original gold artifacts. However, due to security concerns, the gold artifacts had to be replaced by replicas created by Francis Galarza, Nicolás Caro and Panama Bay Jewelers. The remaining, non-gold, original artifacts continue to be on public display.

  On May 17, 2019, in collaboration with the Technological University of Panama, INAC, SENACYT, and Fundación El Caño, an educational visual display was added. This consists of a large interactive touch screen which visitors, especially children, can use to experience El Caño in a unique and fun way.

Fundación El Caño has also created an area where visitors can relax and enjoy a beverage or snack and purchase a souvenir of their visit.

  Fundación El Caño has partnered with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, on two projects. Students have begun working on creating a self-guided tour for non-Spanish speaking visitors to El Caño. A second group of students has begun a plant study to identify the plants currently in the park. The Fundación El Caño team can then compare the plants that are in the park against remnants and seeds found in the tombs to determine how the ecology has changed in the last 100 years.

  Work continues to raise funds to continue improvements and repairs in the park. The team has also begun to plan for excavations in the 2020 dry season. Sponsorships and funds for that endeavor are also needed.

Dr. Mercedes Guinea of FEC with members of INAC.
Dr. Mercedes Guinea of FEC with members of INAC.
Touring the exhibits
Touring the exhibits
Dr. Julia Mayo speaking during the ceremony.
Dr. Julia Mayo speaking during the ceremony.
The interactive educational display.
The interactive educational display.

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Selecting colors for exhibit panels
Selecting colors for exhibit panels

Dr. Julia Mayo has been continuing to meet on a weekly basis with represantatives from the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation, National Cultural Institute and the Panama Tourism Authority to coordinate and plan the exhibit that will take place in the El Caño Museum. The inauguration of the museum is planned for mid April.

The architect Lili Fernandez has been working on the selection of the range of colors that will be used in the wall posters and the display bases and backdrops of the exhbit cases of the museum.

This past week, Regina Eljach, Freddy Caracas, Dariel Feria and Javier Arévalo have been working on the placement and installation of the exhibit cases and panels they constructed.

Work will continue on the museum building and the surrounding grounds to prepare it for the inauguration.

Installing exhibit display panels
Installing exhibit display panels
Display panels and bases installed on the tables
Display panels and bases installed on the tables
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Preparing the layout of the dispay
Preparing the layout of the dispay

While the repairs and renovations for the museum are not 100% complete, we have been able to make the building safe and usable for a small exhibit. By having an exhibit for visitors to see at least some of the artificats discovered in the necropolis, 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 El Caño necropolis.

With some funding from the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation, specifically earmarked for the exhibit, Fundación El Caño was able to hire two people to help with the preparations of the exhbit, a goldsmith and specialist in creating supports for artifacts, and a museographic and conservation specialist. Both gentlemen worked on exhibits at the Gold Museum in Bogota, Colombia. Their work began last week and will continue until such time as the exhibit is ready to open.

We are in the process of also installing the security system in the museum building and finding a manufacturer to make the lockable glass covers for the exhibit tables. The Foundation president, Dr. Mayo, has been organizing with the director of the Historical Heritage Bureau of the National Cultural Institute, the organization ultimatley responsible for the archaorlogical park and museum, on the best manner to organize the exhibit to make it as accessible to the general public as possible.

Creating a support for one of the stone artifacts
Creating a support for one of the stone artifacts
Cleaning and conserving the artifacts
Cleaning and conserving the artifacts
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Organization Information

Fundacion El Cano

Location: Clayton, Panama - Panama
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Fundacion El Cano
Project Leader:
Alexa Hancock
Clayton, Panama
$7,028 raised of $90,000 goal
 
56 donations
$82,972 to go
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