SAVING WHAT MATTERS
Located in the fishing village of Sumartin on the island of Brac, Croatia, the organization Maritima Educare (aka Maritime Education Association or MEA) exists to help support and enhance both the traditional maritime heritage and the contemporary maritime culture of the local community.
To accomplish this, Maritima Educare is currently engaged in the restoration of Croatian wooden BOAT PROJECTS, youth and young adult maritime education PROGRAMS, and development of maritime festival EXHIBITS.
A. Michael Vlahovich
Wooden boats are a significant piece of Croatia’s tangible cultural heritage. They are physical objects that were designed, built, maintained and operated by community members over the years. Maritima Educare believes that each Croatian wooden boat is worth protecting, and their story worth telling for generations to come.
Maritima Educare’s skill training vessel, Mala Barka, is currently undergoing restoration. A former seine skiff for a Sumartin based sardine fishing boat, Mala Barka fell into disrepair and was gifted to MEA. The restoration offers traditional wooden boat building training for MEA members and other interested participants. When complete, Mala Barka will be used for at-sea education programming.
“It’s not about the boats, it’s about the people.” – A. Michael Vlahovich, Program Manager
Although passionate about wooden boats, Maritima Educare programs are designed to benefit the people involved. Passing on skills, knowledge and values for the benefit of others is at the heart of all MEA educational programming.
Maritima Educare’s programs attracts young adults, like the EU volunteers pictured below, because of the hands-on boat building activities and emphasis on experiential learning. In the future, the organization plans to offer at-sea adventures, team building activities, sail training programs and heritage tourism initiatives. The opportunity to work one-on-one with skilled maritime masters will continue to be a hallmark of all MEA programs.
Some potential program partners are like-minded non-profits, national and regional government agencies, local municipalities, international foundations, schools, universities and for-profit corporations that are supportive of MEA’s public benefit programming.
Kalafat & Tool Exhibit
Ante Kuzmanića 8
Traveling exhibitions are an effective means used by Maritima Educare to broaden its outreach and better engage with audiences such as schools, festivals and museums. Taking interesting aspects of Croatian maritime heritage on the road is an innovative way to make traditional skills and stories come alive.
Kalafat & Tool Exhibit
Designed and constructed by MEA, this traveling maritime exhibition has been displayed and installed at both festivals and museums. Although unique as a “stand alone” traditional tool and contemporary photo display, the Kalafat Exhibit is also used for demonstrations and interactive engagement with the public. The mobility of the exhibit allows us to take our mission related programs to a variety of locations and introduce the importance of maritime preservation to a larger audience.