Mission and Vision:
APOYOnline is a non-profit organization that promotes communication, exchange and professional development in the field of heritage preservation in the Americas and in Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries.
To create and nurture cohesive bonds among the conservation and preservation professionals worldwide who are involved in the conservation of the material cultural patrimony of the Americas.
To promote high standards for the protection of the material cultural patrimony of the Americas.
To gather and disseminate information on conservation and preservation for the Latin American community in its native languages.
Click here to watch the APOYOnline 25th Anniversary Video
Click here to download the poster “APOYOnline- 25 Years Building Communication in the Americas”
In 1989, a group of Latin American and North American conservation professionals met to discuss and identify needs of colleagues in Latin America, and to propose ways of supporting their professional activities. A questionnaire was sent to over 150 people, obtaining an 85% response. The overwhelming majority identified their main obstacle as the lack of timely information on conservation activities and news in Spanish and Portuguese, and their isolation from other professionals in the preservation field. A database of names, compiled through word of mouth, was started with the objective of creating a network and a newsletter in Spanish called APOYO to fill the gap of news and information and to connect people.
This network has continued to grow and currently it includes over 4,500 conservation and preservation professionals. In 1994, ICCROM offered the support of their Office of Database Management to merge APOYO’s database of over 1,500 names with ICCROM’s database. For 14 years until 2008, the resulting database was maintained and updated by ICCROM. These professionals are drawn from throughout the Americas, as well as Spain, Portugal and other countries. In addition to this wide geographical representation, there has been ample participation from the diverse specialties involved in conservation such as paper, library and archival materials, textiles, photographs, paintings, ethnographic objects, sculpture, metals, stone, and natural science. The network includes other individuals in related fields, among them museum, library and archives directors, curators, collections managers, educators, archaeologists, and architects.
The APOYO Directory:
A directory of individuals and institutions involved in the conservation and preservation of the cultural patrimony of the Americas was published in 1996, 1998 and in 2001. This directory, the first one of its kind for Latin America, was the result of the cooperative project between the ICCROM and APOYO started in 1994 when the databases were merged. The integrated and expanded database was used both to mail the Newsletter and to produce the Directory. The Directory was printed and distributed with the support of the Smithsonian (SCMRE). The purpose of the Directory was to develop the network within regions and has been an invaluable resource to many who work in isolation.
APOYO’s impressive accomplishments have been largely due to the generous volunteer efforts of the many dedicated individuals who believe strongly in its mission. The continued enthusiastic response from its members has validated its purposes.
The need in Latin America and the Caribbean for a strong and vital conservation communication network is still one of the most important priorities. The Directory marked a milestone in the efforts to build bridges between the conservation professionals of the American Hemisphere.
To respond to the need of continuously strengthening the network, the APOYO group reorganized and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2008 as APOYOnline – Association for Heritage Preservation of the Americas. This was accomplished with the help of volunteers, mainly the coordinator, Beatriz Haspo.