DON VICTOR AND THE MAINTENANCE BOOKLETS: A STRATEGY TO STIMULATE THE RESILIENCE OF THE VERNACULAR HERITAGE OF SOUTHERN ECUADOR
Among the most powerful reasons for the loss of heritage buildings in Ecuadorian Andean cities, the lack of valuation of these buildings by their owners has been persistently noted. Faced with this weakness, the value of the property is considered only for its exclusive real estate value which exposes the demolition to old buildings for speculative purposes. The gap established between the technical valuation of buildings by “experts” and the valuation of these by their owners or inhabitants, has not been possible to overcome for many reasons: The diverse interests, the economic needs of the owners, the difficulties to activate maintenance actions in a more spontaneous and simple way, and the progressive disappearance of people who know how to do it. Understanding the communication of ideas, values and procedures as a powerful tool to mitigate the distances between diverse actors, the CPM project of the University of Cuenca, has developed a series of tools aimed at maintaining the heritage buildings of Cuenca and its region. For this, the characteristics of local architecture, the colloquial language, the tradition of local graphic expressions and other forms of popular dissemination have been considered, resulting in a compendium of 11 documents that includes a cartoon with the name "The Adventures of Don Victor" and 10 thematic booklets in which problems are identified and basic solutions for heritage preservation are offered.