For the past nearly quarter of a century on the flip side of the planet from my Pacific Northwest nest, the World Monument Fund has been helping bring modern day workforce training opportunities to would-be architects, engineers, archaeologists, and artisans in the midst of a still-recovering country tangled in layers of civil war and jungle-eaten ruins. This is the story of the Preah Khan Project at Cambodia’s Angkor Temples.
I grew up in a land of peace and plentiful resources.
When landscape architecture wormed its way into my curious mind at age 14, I’d already squirreled away countless years of urban planning and city management experience (ahem, they’re releasing a new version of SimCity this year, by the way…). But seriously, when I chose to pursue landscape architecture in university, my world was rife with opportunities to study, to travel, and to gain practical experience in modern-day design, construction, and management.
In other regions, access to higher education and workforce training is not so simple; in other regions, entire generations of skilled artisans and professionals have been lost to war.
Countries like Cambodia, filled with natural and cultural landscapes in need of preservation and protection, riddled with histories of instability, are all too often left to wither alone or to be plundered by foreign governments, unscrupulous business ventures, and outside interest groups.
Happily, I share an encouraging story today. One of foreigners banding together to partner with Cambodian citizens to increase education, skills, and ultimately care for the Cambodian people’s cultural heritage. Continue reading