ILAM Foundation is a non-governmental and non-profit organization, established in December 1997 under the laws of Costa Rica. With a comprehensive approach, ILAM works with cultural and natural heritage Latin America institutions, seeking the development of institutional and local communities’ capacities to make a responsible use of heritage resources.
In April 1998 the Summit of American Museums takes place in Costa Rica: "Museums and Sustainable Communities". It brought together delegates from 33 Latin American countries, proposing an agenda for action that included the establishment of regional networks: The ILAM Portal was the response to this call for cooperation.
Through its portal, ILAM has been offering a range of services to more than 7000 institutions of cultural and natural heritage in order to address the growing need for information, communication and training in this vast and diverse region.
ILAM develops several actions in the fight against illicit trafficking:
- Through training workshops directed to institutions staff to develop actions to combat illicit trafficking (started in 2012, two virtual workshops - "Actions to combat trafficking in cultural property” - have been held, involving 9 institutions mainly related to control trafficking in cultural property)
- By diffusion (on the website and Newsletter) of news related to the situation of risk of the cultural heritage. ILAM disseminates ongoing, broadcast news on the situation in Latin American heritage endangered by the "SOS Heritage" section in the Web Portal and through the ilam.org Newsletter (over 10,000 users).
- Through research and publication of results
Currently, together with the Dutch Cultural Heritage Foundation (CHF) ILAM is working on the project “Development, implementation and support of a global, continental and regional Central Database to combat Illicit Traffic of Cultural Objects”.