Combining nature and cultural heritage management in a Bonaire based private company

They are wild, conscious and in for challenging work. This is probably how Fernando and Jimmy got into the UNESCO Foundation Course on Underwater Cultural Heritage. With their recently founded company in mind, this course was a fantastic opportunity.

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Their love for the Caribbean islands and vision for sustainable resources management inspired the creation of Wild Conscience NV. Underwater Cultural Heritage management was a subject both men were familiar with, but not experts on and thus it was a great and exciting addition to their resume.

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The course is locally facilitated by SECAR and the students reside in the two (boys and girls separate) dorm rooms. Their spacious living room and kitchen functions as a study, lecture room, archaeological exhibition room, rec-room, theater and conference room. Evenings are spend working, socializing and many interesting topics are discussed with such a multi cultural group. Several participants have already mentioned interesting projects in their home country and are currently discussing future partnership. Fernando and Jimmy would love to be a partner in future underwater cultural heritage projects.

After two weeks of intensive theoretical training and a fieldwork week the course is getting to an end. The group that is divided in three teams are finishing their management plans, storyboards and mapping process. It has been an interesting and exciting three weeks, with great participants and energy. The camaraderie is high and this many people with different professions is bound to create an interesting end product. This course is bound to give a great stimulus to Caribbean underwater cultural heritage management. The Wild Conscience team is excited about the work and potential and look forward to future projects in this field.

Luckily the course is not over yet and all of us look forward to the final days.

Fernando Simal & Jimmy van Rijn

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