This presentation is based on two months of ethnographic field research in the village of San Vicente de Nicoya, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, during which the current state of the community based museum called the Ecomuseum de la Cerámica Chorotega that opened in May of 2007 was studied. This region of Guanacaste is known for the production and sale of handmade ceramics often in the form of indigenous replicas. Thus, the ecomuseum was formed with the goals of preserving the cultural and natural resources in the community and providing economic support for the artisans. The research objective of this project was to form a holistic diagnostic of the functions of the ecomuseum at this early stage. Research was carried out through interviews and observations of the various groups involved with the museum, including museum employees and volunteers from the community, community artisans, members of the National Museum of Costa Rica, and tourists. An analysis of the information gathered revealed that within these groups varying expectations exist for the ecomuseum’s future role in the community. From these results recommendations were made to the ecomuseum to insure its success.
Dani Merriman, ’09 Colorado Springs, CO
Majors: Art, Sociology and Anthropology
Sponsor: Mary Olson