Home Institution

Beloit College

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Program Name

Argentina: Regional Integration, Development, and Social Change


In northern Argentina, the artisan is in danger of extinction. In 2003, the Quebrada de Humahuaca (Jujuy, Argentina) was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This distinction encouraged preservation of natural and cultural heritage of the region and protection for way of life of indigenous peoples, exhibiting potential to have a positive environmental and social impact. Paradoxically, the designation of the Quebrada de Humahuaca as a World Heritage Site has created a series of adverse effects to the indigenous peoples of the region in context of globalization. The Gorge has become a tourist destination and opened the area to foreign influence and fringe capitalists from other provinces that endanger of the way of life, cultural practices and specifically relevant to this project, craft production.

This investigación attempts to explore the elements that are responsible for the degradation of craft production, such as tourism, the commodification of culture, the introduction of the intermediary, the industrial production of pseudo-artesanias, the degradation of the zone in the face of the growing quantity of tourists, and the failure to implement policies that serve to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of the humahuaqueños.

This investigación also examines the impact and success of actions and projects of the state, provincial and municipal governments to capacitate the artisan with a focus on the progress of the Identidades Productivas (Productive Identities), a program created by the Ministry of Culture of the nation that works for economic empowerment the artisan and artisan community through the marketing of crafts to a broader market and the promotion of local culture.

This project was developed with a combination of academic sources, personal observations, and interviews with various artisans, intermediaries and a specialist in tourism held in Salta Capital, Jujuy Capital and Humahuaca (Jujuy).


Civic and Community Engagement | Inequality and Stratification | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Tourism


Article Location