In Jiquilisco and Tecoluca, two municipalities in Southern El Salvador, several young people participated in a workshop organized by UNESCO, which tackled intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and the various ways it contributes to peacebuilding and conflict resolution. Indeed, living heritage has the potential to foster social harmony through shared values expressed in festivals, performance, cultural expressions, and oral traditions. Many communities have practices, which serve specifically to promote dialogue, mutual understanding, arbitration and peaceful conflict resolution.
This workshop took place within the framework of the project “#SonParte: Juventudes por un futuro pacífico, justo y sostenible” (#WeArePart: Youth for a peaceful, fair and sustainable future), whose objective is to promote the involvement of youth in decision-making processes towards peacebuilding. This project is implemented by UNESCO, together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), Asociación Generaciones de Paz, and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.
The workshop was led by Ms. Eva Martinez, one of UNESCO facilitators, and took place through a combination of face-to-face and virtual modalities. The participants in this workshop included various stakeholders : representatives of local associations dedicated to community development, representatives of indigenous communities including the Ulúas, Lencas and Nonualcos, and young people from various cantons in the region.
UNESCO believes that living heritage, and culture at large, is a useful tool for promoting peace, fostering social transformation and engaging communities around the world in sustainable development. Involving youth is essential as they help to identify, safeguard, and transmit the ICH elements that contribute to building peaceful societies.