Intangible cultural heritage as a basis for resilience, reconciliation and construction of peace environments in Colombia's post-agreements

Benefitting country(ies): Colombia


The project was Implemented by the Fundación Universidad del Norte. This fourteen-month project aimed to utilize intangible cultural heritage as a basis for resilience, reconciliation and reintegration in Colombia’s Guajira Department, Conejo village, home to the Pondores ETCR – a temporary shelter for ex-combatants and their families during their transition to civilian life. The project responded to the third point of the Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army) in 2016, which aims to generate the conditions to help former combatants build life projects in civilian life following a sixty-year armed conflict.

Video of the project
© Govierno nacional de Colombia/UNESCO

In this context, ex-combatants in the village of Conejo requested measures to reinvigorate their local culture as a reparation measure. To this end, a participatory methodology was designed linking intangible cultural heritage capacity-building strategies and inventorying with the ‘Memory and Heritage’ approach of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, directed at safeguarding living heritage and collective memory to reconstruct the social fabric, diagnose cultural damage and foster symbolic reparation and cultural healing among communities affected by armed conflict. The proposed project – presented as an emergency request – sets out to promote new forms of coexistence, reconciliation and integration around the community’s local intangible cultural heritage. UNESCO and Colombia presented this project at the first Paris Peace Forum which took place from 11 to 13 November 2018 in Paris.

News and activities:

25/03/2019 - 08/06/2020 – My Heritage, My Region: strategy for capacity-building in social management of the intangible cultural heritage in two departments of the Colombian Orinoco region01/10/2019 - 31/03/2020 – Tais, traditional textile