Department of Archaeology PhD Student, worked on a project titled “Heritage Management on Bonaire”

The aim of this fellowship was to address a series of recommendations by Stichting NAAM, on how to improve current heritage management practices on the island of Bonaire. Firstly, I implemented a new depot for archaeological finds. Secondly, I created a framework for the designation and management of archaeological monuments.

The first stage of the archaeological depot was created and I laid out a plan for a long-term depot solution. This would involve several departments of the government (archives, museums, archaeology). I presented a workshop three times on the archaeology and heritage of Bonaire to different audiences. I organized an exhibit for Museum Day 2022 and I began planning an art contest for youth on Bonaire.

The fellowship helped me to gain experience implementing heritage policy and changes at a government managerial level. I gained skills in policy writing, governments function, and a great insight into how heritage is managed on Bonaire. Beyond this, my network has grown, and new ideas and projects have sprung from this fellowship. In particular, I have met new people who are planning heritage projects on Bonaire. I am planning to collaborate with them in the coming months/years thanks to this fellowship.

This fellowship has allowed me to learn about the operations of a heritage management office in the Southern Caribbean. This is the area where I am from, where I am conducting my research, and where I hope to work in after my PhD. One of the greatest impacts on my own work has been the insider knowledge I have developed. This will let me build more effective recommendations for heritage managers in the region during my PhD.

Bonaire is small and does not have a designated archaeologist working full-time. My archaeological experience and knowledge was vital, especially on spatial planning matters concerning new developments. My research and knowledge of Bonairean archaeology was particularly useful to heritage managers and government employees. Throughout the fellowship I was able to deploy my academic knowledge, that I have gained during my Phd.

With special thanks to The Bonaire Government.

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