COMUNICACIÓN

A CONGRESS ON CULTURAL ROUTES AND ITINERARIES FOR TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT PROMOTES COOPERATION BETWEEN ECUADOR, MEXICO, AND EUROPE FROM EXTREMADURA

The director general of External Action and member of the board of trustees of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, Pablo Hurtado, reaffirmed today that Extremadura is committed to cooperation as the only way to solve present and future challenges at the inauguration of the International Congress “Cultural Routes and Itineraries for the Development of Territories”. In his view, understanding, respect, and collaboration are universal values that can address current and future challenges and conflicts. (28/05/2024).

During his speech, the director general acknowledged the work carried out by Yuste Foundation in this project to “once again make Extremadura the focal point for reflection on academic and cultural cooperation with Ibero-America”.

He also announced that, as a result of this strong cooperation with Ibero-America, Yuste Foundation will become a reference centre in the field of academic and cultural cooperation.

The International Congress “Cultural Routes and Itineraries for the Development of Territories”, taking place on May 28th and 29th at the San Francisco Cultural Complex in Cáceres, is organised by the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science, and Culture (OEI), the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of Ecuador, the Metropolitan Institute of Heritage of Quito and the Secretariat of Culture of Quito, the Autonomous University of Zacatecas in Mexico, and the European Institute of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EICR), within the framework of the ADELANTE 2 programme for Triangular Cooperation between the European Union, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Around 200 people from 25 countries have registered in person and online from Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, Finland, France, Guatemala, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay.

The head of the South America and Regional Operations Unit of the European Commission, Olivier Luyckx, explained that ADELANTE 2 aims to promote dialogue and network formation between civil society and public and private entities in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to Luyckx, triangular cooperation is “an original and unique modality that fosters joint learning, knowledge generation, and mutual capacity strengthening”.

In this regard, he expressed his conviction about the efficiency and effectiveness of this project that has united Ecuador, Mexico, Spain, and Luxembourg through the ADELANTE 2 programme’s Window with the objective of “sharing knowledge about cultural routes and itineraries and transferring a model characterised by the valorisation of heritage to contribute to job creation and the promotion of development through sustainable tourism”.

At the inauguration of the event, the executive secretary of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe and director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, Stefano Dominioni, also spoke. He explained that cultural heritage has always been a priority for the Council of Europe to achieve better unity among citizens, as it is “a fundamental resource for building a peaceful and democratic society, stimulating sustainable development, and promoting cultural diversity”.

 

The European Institute of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe currently has forty-seven certified routes that traverse more than sixty countries, reflecting the variety and richness of European heritage. “Europe and Ibero-America are linked by a common history, but also by shared values, identities, and heritage”, he concluded.

 

Additionally, María Estelina Quinatoa, the undersecretary of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of Ecuador, spoke. During her speech, she recalled that for more than six thousand years, the peoples of South America were already connected through the Pacific with Mesoamerica down to Patagonia via a land route and a maritime route.

 

Finally, Raphael Callou, director general of Culture of the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), acknowledged that his institution places great importance on cultural routes and itineraries as mechanisms for generating sustainability and as tools for developing regional integration based on shared history. He highlighted that the ADELANTE 2 Programme illustrates “the capacity for integration and the development of bridges between Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Europe through public policies”.

 

The objective of the International Congress “Cultural Routes and Itineraries for the Development of Territories” is to share knowledge and exchange experiences regarding cultural routes and itineraries as instruments for the development of territories based on the valorisation of heritage and sustainable tourism.