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Latino Daily News

Saturday September 8, 2012

LatAm Hopes to Boost Regional Development by Focusing on Cultural Identities, Tradition

LatAm Hopes to Boost Regional Development by Focusing on Cultural Identities, Tradition

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Latin American culture ministers are promoting an agenda based on strengthening their countries’ identities and restoring their traditions as a fundamental element of regional development.

The 15th Ibero-American Conference of Culture Ministers ended Friday in the Spanish city of Salamanca, which has also played host this week to a gathering of education minsters and the Ibero-American Congress of Languages.

The ministers came out Friday in favor of giving values precedence over economic policies when it comes to ordering the redistribution of wealth, while making culture a basis of development.

The concept was communicated to Efe in interviews with culture ministers from Uruguay, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Peru.

“Culture is a core element for strengthening a sense of belonging and for developing identity,” Uruguay’s Ricardo Ehrlich said.

Guatemala believes that if culture is really accepted as a motor of development and of social cohesion, the scene will be set for promoting “development with identity,” Minister Carlos Enrique Batzin said.

Honduras’ Tulio Mariano Gonzales believes that culture “can and should” play an essential role in the region’s progress, while regretting that “unfortunately, the poorer a country is, the less it regards culture as a priority.”

For Costa Rica it is essential not to think only as countries but also about how to come together to create a cultural policy that aids development at a regional level, Minister Manuel Obregon said.

At the same time, Peru agreed to accept the challenge of including culture in its agenda, a matter currently “very neglected” and that is a “fundamental factor of development,” Minister Luis Peirano Falconi told Efe.