Each year, the IBOCC, an international organization supported by the OAS, chooses cities that will be distinguished as Cultural Capitals for a year. Cities are chosen as an example of the cultural manifestations of their country or region. Latin America was the first region in the world to implement this recognition, which it has granted to 16 locations so far. Colima will become the next Cultural Capital during 2014, and will relieve Barranquilla, which currently holds the title. With his appointment, Mexico is one step closer to drawing Brazil as the country with the largest number of cultural capitals. Since 2009, the winning cities have voted among their inhabitants to designate their 7 Wonders, that is, the symbols, buildings and even traditions that best represent each one. In Colima, the Hidalgo Theater, La Petatera, as well as the landscape of the volcanoes and the Magic Town of Comala, are some of its wonders. Let's meet the rest of the Cultural Capitals of America in the gallery.
São Luís, Brazil
Last year, the town of São Luís, also known as Brazilian Athens, received the award, 400 years after its foundation and a decade after Maceió became the first city in Brazil to be named Cultural Capital.
Another award-winning Brazilian city was Curitiba, known for its initiatives to protect the environment, which had to share its title during 2003 with Panama, one of the cities with the best quality of life in the region.
Brasília, the city of Oscar Niemayer and Lúcio Costa received the appointment in 2008, 48 years after it was founded. Some of its wonders were the Cathedral, the Dom Bosco Sanctuary, the National Congress and the Palácio da Alvorada (official residence of the President).
Asunción became, in 2009, the first Capital to choose its 7 wonders: the Palacio de los López, the Pantheon of the Heroes, the Cabildo and the Cathedral were some of them. It is the most populous city in Paraguay and one of the 20 largest in South America.
Santo Domingo, Dominican
The following year, Santo Domingo, the first European settlement in America and the most important city in the Caribbean, was honored with the distinction. Some of its architectural samples considered wonders are the Alcazar de Colón, the Cathedral and the Ozama Fortress.
Chile is another country with more than one award-winning city. The coastal town of Iquique, cradle of the Chinchorro civilization, was the first in 2001. Three years later, Santiago de Chile, capital of the country, followed.
Cordoba has been the only Argentine cultural capital so far. He received the appointment in 2006, among other things, thanks to its gastronomy, its tourist attractions, its wide billboard of cultural events and the boost it has given to education
Nestled in the Andes Mountains, Cusco is considered the historical capital of Peru, and there are those who call it the Rome of America because of the amount of Inca and colonial monuments in it. A few years ago the Inca names of its streets were recovered.
In 2000, Mérida became the first Cultural Capital of America thanks to its multicultural heritage, its cuisine and its many tourist attractions. Naming the White City involved recognizing Mexico as a very culturally rich country.
The city of Barranquilla, Colombia currently holds the title. During the twentieth century he received several waves of European and Asian immigrants, who mixed with the local population, giving rise to an interesting miscegenation. His Carnival was recognized by UNESCO.
It took 5 years for the prize to return to Mexico. This time, Guadalajara and its growing cultural offer were chosen. Its Book Fair, its film festival, its typical cuisine and music are some of the elements that distinguish it.