Texts & Technology Core Faculty Natalie Underberg-Goode on the Portal to Peru

August 15, 2018

The Portal to Peru project presents and interprets Andean weaving from the region of Cusco, Peru. Working in collaboration with the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC), the website offers multiple ways to learn about, experience, and appreciate Andean cultural heritage and the lives and work of Andean weavers. It is based on research conducted in Cusco, Peru in Summer 2017, including interviews with members of and archive data from the CTTC, and was developed over the 2017-2018 academic year in consultation with members of the CTTC who helped determine themes, design features, and project objectives.

Portal to Peru includes a searchable collection of digitized photos of more than 700 items from the CTTC’s permanent collection of textiles, exhibitions focusing on weaving types, techniques, process, and designs from the CTTC’s photographic archives and a GIS-based community tour of the ten communities with whom the CTTC works. One of the exhibitions, called “Continuity and Change,” links together items from all of the exhibitions and provides a space for a community portal through which visitors, including Peruvians in the diaspora, can contribute their own reflections, pictures, and stories. In addition, the site presents digital stories and interactive visual novels based on the experiences and knowledge of the women who work with this important non-profit in order to help the visitor understand the historical, cultural, and economic context in which this cultural heritage is created and shared.

The project was funded by a Department of Education grant received by UCF’s Latin American Studies program, called “ABCD: America: Believing in Cultural Diversity.” The Portal to Peru project team includes Games and Interactive Media/Nicholson School of Communication associate professor and Texts & Technology core faculty Natalie Underberg-Goode, project director; former Digital Media undergraduate student Ariel Helin, back-end developer; current Digital Media graduate student Sherryl Ptallah, front-end designer; and UCF Modern Languages instructor Norma Ledesma, language consultant. The Website can be viewed at: https://projects.cah.ucf.edu/portaltoperu/