Independence NHP Hosts World Heritage Fellow

Philadelphia – Independence National Historical Park is hosting its first ever U.S. World Heritage Fellow, Gonzalo Javier Rodriguez, from May 23 through July 7. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) administers the World Heritage List, which includes Independence Hall. Rodriguez, a Peruvian and archeologist, will complete his fellowship at the park where he hopes to gain a better understanding of a national park's management and how the park interprets and presents history to visitors. This research will allow Rodriguez and his colleagues to better manage and promote national heritage sites in Peru, such as Aspero or Caral (a World Heritage Site). Independence Hall is recognized as one of only 21 World Heritage Sites—18 of which are national parks—in the U.S.

According to a study by the National Parks Conservation Association, more than four dollars in tax revenue are generated for local economies by every dollar invested in national parks. As Philadelphia continues to see financial gains in tourism, thanks in part to Independence NHP, other site managers, including Rodriguez, are looking to the U.S. to help them achieve similar success. Rodriguez hopes to learn from our achievements as not only a national park and World Heritage site, but also a popular community and tourist area. In turn, he will teach staff at Independence NHP, through a series of in-house lectures, about the sites he works with in Peru. The NPS supports the fellowship through the Office of International Affairs, https://www.nps.gov/oia/new/New_Page/WH_Fellowship.htm.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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