Articles / About Camagüey / Patrimony / City of Camagüey Preserving its Cultural Heritage
Thursday, July 7, 2011
City of Camagüey Preserving its Cultural Heritage
By Adary Rodríguez Pérez / Radio Cadena Agramonte.
When one tours the cobbled streets of the historic center of the once village of Santa Maria del Puerto del Principe, as in a postcard, one can find new nuances on the old buildings façades.
The time seems to have come to a halt on the alleyways, churches and squares of the city of Camagüey, which preserves pieces of its history and its architectural values for which a segment of this town was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Those buildings that illustrate a significant period of our history -the 18th century – together with the culture and traditions of its residents, sustain the proposal made by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in its 32nd meeting.
Three years after such proclamation, the change in several buildings is crystal-clear. The main actor of this renewal has been a group of experts and workers of the Office of the City Historian of Camagüey (OHCC).
But the OHCC itself cannot do it all against the inexorable passage of time, the oversight and the lack of concern of many. The city is the house of every one of us, of our children, the youth and the elderly people; it is the common home of those who selected at random or at their own initiative, to write the history of their own lives on the pages of this 497 year-old city.
Traditions, legends and culture have always characterized Camagüey, and should always be points of reference of those who are living in this town nowadays, says José Rodríguez Barreras, director of the OHCC.
Realities are built up upon the dreams and the systematic efforts of people, and the projects encouraged by the OHCC are aimed at developing this municipality in all aspects of life: from improving the cultural level of the population up to revitalizing its local economy.
Although there is still a lot of work to be done on this issue and each institution and organization must do their bit, the endeavor of so many years has already brought to palpable fruition; for example, in the reconstruction of the current Cultural Diversity Center, which was granted recently the Premio Nacional de Restauración 2011 (National Award of Renovation).
It is also self-evident the refurbishing of Maceo pedestrianised shopping street and of several buildings situated in the historic core of this city, for which the OHCC won the Gubbio Awards for Latin America and the Caribbean that grants the National Association of Historical and Artistic City Centers (ANCSA), in Italy.
Legends, traditions, idiosyncrasy, culture and heritage are part of the delicate clay that the OHCC shapes and takes care of, which is the key to success in preserving the memory of a community and the tangible heritage of place, that on July 7, 2008 was declared a world heritage.(translated by Gualveris Rosales Sanchez)
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