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Mérida wins Cultural Capital title — again

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Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal , third from left, is flanked by tourism and IBOCC officials as the Cultural Capital designation is announced. Photo: Facebook
Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal , third from left, is flanked by tourism and IBOCC officials as the Cultural Capital designation is announced. Photo: Facebook

Mérida, Yucatán — The city was the first to win this honor, and the now it’s the first to win it twice.

Mérida has won the the designation “Cultural Capital of the Americas” for 2017, Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal announced today. Mérida is the only city to have been honored twice by the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals: the White City was the first city to receive the honor in 2000, and that distinction has been mentioned in travel publicity ever since, persuading more visitors to sample the city’s music, art and performance offerings.

“No doubt this appointment represents a great opportunity to give our city the international projection that it deserves and will also bring benefits to the tourism sector and the creation of new jobs and better-paid jobs,” said the mayor, “as the name of Mérida will tour the entire American continent and several countries of Europe in cultural events of international stature that are covered by TV networks…”

The Cultural Capital of the Americas, established in 1998, aims to promote inter-American integration from the cultural field, contribute to a better awareness between the peoples of the Americas, while respecting their national and regional diversity, highlighting the common cultural heritage.

The IBOCC, established in 1985, promotes international cultural capital cities and establishes new bridges of cooperation with Europe. It is accredited by the Organization of American States (OAS) and has recognition of Latin American and European parliaments.

Mérida will gain visibility across Latin America, the U.S. and Europe now that it beat out about 10 Latin American cities that competed for the honor.

Here are all Cultural Capitals since the designation was created:

  • 2000: Mérida, Mexico
  • 2001: Iquique, Chile
  • 2002: Maceio, Brazil
  • 2003: Panama City, Panama, and Curitiba, Brazil (tied)
  • 2004: Santiago, Chile
  • 2005: Guadalajara, Mexico
  • 2006: Cordoba, Argentina
  • 2007: Cuzco, Peru
  • 2008: Brasilia, Brazil
  • 2009: Asuncion, Paraguay
  • 2010: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • 2011: Quito, Ecuador
  • 2012: Sao Luis, Brazil
  • 2013: Barranquilla, Colombia
  • 2014: Colima, Mexico
  • 2015: Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
  • 2016: Valdivia, Chile
  • 2017: Mérida, Mexico
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