In finding the traces of Chile's silver route, directors of the Fundación Altiplano MSV explore the cultural heritage of the Andean churches of Arica and Parinacota.
Across the plains of northern Chile, 31 rural churches built in the mid-sixteenth century reflect the tradi- tions of art and faith of local residents in combina- tion with the European influences of those overseeing their construction. This landscape and its structures have re- mained remarkably unchanged due to their remote locations. Once the free port of Arica was built in the 1960s, steady emigration toward urban centers has diminished the local workforce available for caring for the churches. Founded in 2002, the Fundación Altiplano began restoring the churches
a year later, developing a plan for sustaining the 31 churches through community engagement and specialized training in the crafts necessary to maintain these evocative historic structures. To date, eight churches have been restored. The Churches of Arica Parinacota were included on the 2010 World Monuments Watch and since that time World Mon- uments Fund has contributed to the work of Fundación Altiplano. Visit WMF's website to learn more about Arica Parinacota.