Posted 5 March, 2014 by-Ministry of Culture and Sports in News

The importance of the Municipal Cultural Policy.

By Max Allen.

Guatemala is a country with a rich and varied cultural heritage, tangible o material, e intangible o inmaterial, that needs to be backed up by a number of reasons, among them because it is an identity, because it strengthens the social cohesion of communities, their sense of belonging, self-esteem and individual and collective pride, but also because culture is a comprehensive engine development of peoples, being one of its effects because it generates income for makers and carriers of cultural expressions, or cultural industries established in the country. It also contributes to promoting social peace and against violence, ancestral and contemporary ills.

Administrativamente Guatemala if divides, at this time, in 338 Municipalities. Each of these has a cultural heritage that characterizes him and that gives identity, but also generates economic movements, not only by the nature itself of this heritage but also for tourism, national and international, who visits, mainly have a site or a place that is considered important, worth visiting, or artistic expressions, represented in festivals and fairs, or traditional cultural expressions, including gastronomic, their crafts and their employers and religious festivals, but also by the cultural industries that are headquartered in the town .

From the legal point of view each municipality is autonomous, which means you can make decisions, administered, with the scope and limitations placed upon the general laws and national administrations, municipalities as part of the country, therefore respond to general regulations. Among the possibilities are the municipalities to implement local public policy development, including cultural, that allow them to make important decisions about their local cultural heritage, including the "safeguard" the same, understood as the recovery, restoration, reconstruction, defense, preservation, the promotion and dissemination, manifested in actions, projects and programs. It is the case that so far no municipality has cultural policies Guatemala, although, fortunately, have programs that materialize in local art schools, in support of its festivities and safeguard actions of certain assets and crafts, or building maintenance, traditional and emblematic buildings parks. Some also support cultural houses, some artistic festivals or traditional expression. An example of this are the Christmas traditions and processions for Holy Week processions.

Having municipal cultural policies, allows them to understand the whys and wherefores of each term or each support, raise awareness of the value of each cultural expression has, including artistic, for each municipality or for each location or sector of a municipality, and that the actions are focused, projects, and programs in each area of ​​cultural heritage, including financial support or encouragement, the benefits, return, they bring to each sector or generally adhered to all. Thus it is understood that a sum of money for a project is not an expense but an investment that brings many benefits. But it also contributes to social peace, combating racism, exclusion, poverty, extreme poverty and crime, as well as respect for cultural and ethnicity of the people living in the municipalities.

Among the possibilities for municipalities in terms of culture, the declaration of municipal Cultural Heritage or parties of interest is, and in recognition of their values, their creators, their characters, its history, their traditions. Etc. In that sense there are as many possibilities as you like.

It should be clear that the Municipal Cultural Policy are daughters of the National Cultural Policy, said this metaphorically, as a result should not contradict. Neither intended to replace the work that the Ministry of Culture and other relevant government agencies that are aimed at safeguarding cultural heritage. They are also part of the development of the National Cultural Development Plan. The intention is to collaborate and take a local or regional commitment to the rescue, maintenance, dissemination and promotion, of local cultural expressions, to bring direct benefits to people living in municipalities, and in some cases do so under the direction, supervision, guidelines or cooperation with other authorities responsible for the safeguarding of cultural heritage..

For municipal policies are created than previously needed are guidelines, like the Commission to propose a civil society coordinating Otto Rivera, but the City Council in a given municipality which issued a Municipal Agreement and creating their own policies, subsequently developed by a local Cultural Development Plan. This Municipal Agreement may be proposed as, as an example or model, then:

Municipal Agreement number ....



That the town of ................................. has a rich cultural heritage: tangible e intangible, represented by buildings and objects from different periods in its history, traditional as well as cultural and artistic expressions.


That in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic municipalities are free to develop their goals and objectives, being that the Law of Decentralization and Municipal Code provide them functions related to culture, the preservation of cultural heritage, and the recognition and implementation of cultural rights.


That culture is a driver of overall development, and the town of .................. has a rich and varied cultural heritage, material o tangible e inmaterial o intangible, that must be rescued, conserved, restored, advocated and disseminated, that strengthens local identity, strengthens social cohesion and inclusion, generating processes for combating racism, discrimination, poverty, extreme poverty and violence. Also generates an economic movement that benefits all sectors of the population of the municipality.


That in the year 2000 were created National Cultural Policy, counting for their development in the National Plan, which is further supported by current legislation and international ratified by Guatemala. The plan competition of municipalities to safeguard their cultural heritage and to the recognition and implementation of cultural rights of the four villages that make up the country set.


It is necessary to create a Cultural Policy for our town, for rescue, restoration, conservation, protect and promote our cultural heritage, tangible e intangible, why using a Local Cultural Development Plan of the various sectors of society involved in its creation and implementation.


According to what is contained in the Constitution of the Republic, the Municipal Code, national and international laws relating to culture, and the powers that the City Council has, and in line with the National Policy on Culture and the National Cultural Development Plan.


ARTICULO 1º. Creation d municipal Cultural Policy. Cultural Policies .............................. Township which are contained in the following articles are created.


ARTICLE 2. Of Cultural Policies; Cultural policies of the municipality are:

a) Preservation of tangible cultural heritage, represented by constructions of prehispanic (before 1520), colonial (of 1520 a 1821) and Republican (of 1821 the present), and objects and furniture in the same periods.

b) Safeguarding traditional ancestral knowledge and cultural expressions. Social practices are included, religious, crafts, gastronomy, local holidays, traditions, ancestral knowledge and others that are part of the intangible cultural heritage of the municipality.

c) Education, promotion, promotion and dissemination of expressions of artists Township.

Means safeguarding of cultural heritage to all actions, rescue projects and programs, defense, restoration, promotion, conservation and promotion of cultural heritage, including studies, training, research, Inventories, workshops, seminars, employers and trade of specific products, events, publications, creation and maintenance of cultural centers, houses of culture, schools and museums, and the declaration of municipal cultural heritage or interest.

ARTICLE 3. Municipal Cultural Development Plan. To fulfill the Cultural Policy of the Municipality will have a Municipal Cultural Development Plan, developed by consensus between the municipality and representative sectors, working in different areas of cultural heritage, tangible e intangible, coordinated by the Councillor in charge of culture, and be approved by the City Council. To implement the Plan will have the support of civil society, academia and the business of the municipality. He can hire experts and consultants to provide services in the development and implementation of the Plan.

ARTICLE 4. Validity: This agreement shall take effect immediately.

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