Quito is culture capital of the Americas

The Capital of Ecuador, Quito, has been declared American Capital of Culture 2011 by the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals (IBOCC).

The American Capital of Culture initiative was born in 1997 and is aimed at all the countries of the Americas.

It has three major objectives:

– to be an instrument of Inter-American integration in the cultural sphere,
– to contribute to the peoples of the American continent knowing each other better, respecting its national and regional diversity, as well as highlighting their shared cultural heritage;
– and to promote the cities nominated as the American Capital of Culture in the American hemisphere and in the rest of the world, at the same time as building new bridges of cooperation with the other continents which have established cultural capitals.

This nomination places Quito as a worldwide cultural centre, which is aimed at motivating locals and foreigners to learn about the treasures that the city holds and to understand why Quito will be the American Capital of Culture.

San Francisco de Quito, or simply Quito, besides being the capital of Ecuador, as well as the province of Pichincha, in 2008 was named host of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). Located at an average altitude of 2,850 metres is the second highest administrative capital of the world, after La Paz.    

Quito was the cradle of civilisations and cultures which hark back several millennia.  It is this astounding mixture of people and cultures that have made this city such a unique place.  Today Quito hoards four centuries of memories, creation, faith, art, ancestral knowledge, conscience and rebelliousness, life, determination and hope.

One of these treasures is the Historic Centre, an artistic jewel located in an area of 320 hectares. This place holds 130 monumental buildings and 5,000 properties that are registered as heritage sites. Quito´s Historic Centre is considered the largest, least altered, and best preserved of America.

So important is the Ecuadorian will to keep things as they were, but to also embrace contemporary living, that Quito was declared First World Heritage Site by the UNESCO 32 years ago.

Throughout history, Quito has hosted pedestrians, worshippers, scientists, warriors, architects, emperors, and a great number of men and women that understood the value of this land and contributed to the development of this metropolis, which is strategically located right on the Equator and therefore geographically equitable.

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