The Eastern Rhodope

Software Donations Help Preserve Bulgarian Cultural Heritage

The Eastern Rhodope is a mountainous region dotted with traditional Bulgarian architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. In an effort to preserve and promote the historical and cultural heritage of the Eastern Rhodope, a group of seven professionals from different backgrounds founded the Culture and Tourism of the Eastern Rhodope Mountains Association (CTERMA) in 2010.

The organization's goals are to develop non-traditional forms of tourism in the Eastern Rhodope, promote tourism, work with government authorities to implement tourism policies, and manage the region's tourism industry. It also aims to attract Bulgarian and foreign investments for the development of tourism in the region.

Early on, the founding members recognized the importance of developing presentations and reports on the cultural and historical significance of the region in order to effectively accomplish their goals. The organization learned of TechSoup Bulgaria and its software donation program through the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation.

After contacting TechSoup Bulgaria, the association received Microsoft Windows and Office software. The new software proved very valuable for the October 2010 international forum organized by the association, which was entitled "Cultural Corridors in the Balkans." It was the first major event the group organized on its journey of creating awareness of the importance of the region's cultural heritage.