San Pedro de Atacama Mission, Chile

Kurt and all,
I wanted to share with you a quick note from Chile.
We just finished three days of presentations and meetings with the community of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.  It’s a 16th century mission that has survived all the earthquakes……..somewhat.  Its the second oldest church in Chile and has a huge influx of tourism.  I’m helping with the moisture and adobe stabilization issues for Fundacion Altiplano.  Fundacion is the organization that Cristian and Magdalena have that is based out of Arica.  You know them through their presentations at the Earth USA conferences.  As I had at one time described the work of Fundacion Altilpano to Jake, “they’re like Cornerstones on steroids” !  An amazing organization that will forever have a  rippling positive effect on the patrimony of their country and the architecture students and communities that they engage.  Julio Vargas, an engineer from the Catholic University of Lima, is helping Fundacion with the seismic retrofit at San Pedro and their other projects as well.  Jake and Fred know Julio from years past.  His engineering work and devotion to finding viable seismic retrofit solutions in Peru is legendary.

Whenever I come here it’s a whirlwind of workshops and visits.  Fundacion and Cornerstones keep me centered on the importance of  saving our shared earthen heritage.

Please find attached a couple of pictures of this amazing place of Atacama.
The mission is made out of adobe with walls measuring four and a half feet wide.  The ceiling decking is made from cactus with a torta de tierra  (earthen roof) on top.  

Pat Taylor
Historic Preservation
apataylor@comcast.net

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