I’m in the process of finishing the profile for Guanajuato that will soon be available in our Cities list of best places to live in Mexico. Did you know that Guanajuato and its silver mines were added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1988? Even more importantly, did you know that Mexico is #7 on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites?
UNESCO – the acronym for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – began publishing its list of protected places in the world in 1978 when there were just a dozen World Heritage Sites. UNESCO was chartered by the U.N. in 1946 and is headquartered in Paris, France.
Today, UNESCO lists 1,031 protected cultural and natural sites throughout the world. Italy, home to the Roman Empire, has 51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the most of any country in the world. China is second with 48, followed by Spain with 44 and France 41. Mexico ranks #7 with 34 World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in the Americas.
By 2016, UNESCO had conferred 27 cultural, 6 natural and 1 mixed (the ancient Maya city and protected tropical forests of Calakmul in the state of Campeche) World Heritage Sites in Mexico. You may live in or near one of these World Heritage Sites.
The Mexico page on the UNESCO website features a map showing the location of all the sites in Mexico and provides links to all 34 with photos and detailed information about the specific World Heritage Site and why it was chosen, including specific criteria. Guanajuato’s selection, for example, included meeting four specific criteria as well as integrity, authenticity and protection and management requirements set by UNESCO.
The state of Mexico and Mexico City had six World Heritage Sites, the most in the country. The Mexican government has submitted an additional 22 properties it considers worthy of consideration for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
Mexico can be rightfully proud of its historical and cultural place in the world.