Commission asked to distribute World Heritage funds more evenly
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
In a meeting held in San Miguel de Allende federal legislators were asked that funds for Mexico’s 10 World Heritage sites be distributed more uniformly. Federal resources, amounting to 300 million pesos this year, have been distributed based largely on population. Puebla received the highest amount, 56 million pesos.
On April 28, members of the Special Commission for Mexican World Heritage Sites gathered at Casa de Allende. Among the attendees was Congressman Hugo Sandoval Martínez, president of the commission. He said that the commission was formed to help the cities appointed as world Heritage sites get federal resources, and they decided to visit the 10 cities to learn about their needs so they can formulate a budget for 2014 and allocate funds fairly. He said that they will try to double the amount awarded from 300 to 600 million pesos next year.
Mayor Mauricio Trejo urged the members of the committee to work together with the authorities in these cities, because distributing funds based on population is unfair. San Miguel receives fewer funds because it is relatively small. “Puebla was getting almost 50 percent of the total amount,” he noted. The president of the commission commented that the money cannot be divided equally because every city has different needs and they must analyze each case to make a decision.
Ricardo Villarreal, the host legislator, said that the commission decided to visit the cities because one of the reasons to apply for World Heritage status is to get more financial resources, and he added that they will ask the Secretariat of Tourism to promote not only Mexican beach destinations but also the cities that offer culture, traditions and customs that merit more international exposure. Villarreal also commented that they will keep working on the budget in order to give 10 million more pesos to each city next year, so San Miguel could receive almost 30 million pesos.
The meetings will be held in every World Heritage city in Mexico and will conclude in September of this year.