The historic town of San José de Maipo, nestled away in the Andes mountain range just outside Santiago, will have its historic colonial buildings protected under a Government-funded plan.
Located just 30 miles south of Santiago and near the Cajón del Maipo, the town provides a relaxing, rural setting just one hour outside the bustling city due to its location more than half-a-mile above sea level in the Andes. This makes it a popular regional tourist destination.
Now its historic town center has been marked for preservation by Chile’s National Monuments Council.
A heritage guide is also being developed and will be released in March 2011 for the area. Travel professionals have been preparing the guide since October and will complete it in November. They have also visited eight schools in the area, conducting workshops on heritage with children.
“It is part of the community delivery of this project. It consists of telling children and young people what it means and why heritage is protected,” Humberto Espinoza, a heritage expert involved in the project, told daily Chilean newspaper El Mercurio. “We have also spoken with everyone who lives there about the heritage they can find right at their front doors.”
In 2001, the municipality founded by Governor Ambrosio O’Higgins in 1792 was recognized as a zone of touristic interest by the Government.
Other areas being restored in Santiago include those around the Yungay, Brasil and Concha y Toro neighborhoods, which attract both tourists and university students alike. They are being renovated with the installation of over 4,000 new street lamps.
This post is also available in Spanish