The ambitious capacity-building agenda for World Heritage in Mexico and Central America recently saw a major step forward with the first sub-regional workshop held from 26 to 28 August 2019, organized by the Category 2 Centre based in Zacatecas, Mexico.

Representatives from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama, as well as Caribbean participants from Cuba and the Dominican Republic, gathered in Mexico City and exchanged experiences and best practices for conservation and management of the sub-region’s 51 World Heritage sites.

The three-day workshop on the Basic Concepts of the World Heritage Convention was the first in a series of training activities scheduled in the Category 2 Centre’s work plan for 2019 and 2020. A total of 54 specialists – including national focal points, site managers, local and national authorities, researchers and others – attended the workshop. They covered topics from the fundamental concepts and processes of the Convention, including nominations and state of conservation monitoring, to management systems and tools. In-depth discussions on specific case studies presented by local experts helped illustrate success stories and challenges in the World Heritage system in Mexico and Central America.

As a regional training centre for World Heritage, the Category 2 Centre in Zacatecas will continue to organize more workshops and conferences over the coming years that will enrich the conservation and management practices of the region. Their current work plan is based on the Capacity Building Strategy and monitoring of the Action Plan for World Heritage in Mexico and Central America (PAMAC) 2018-2023.

Fully operational since 2017, the Category 2 Centre enjoys close cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and other actors that support the fulfillment of its important training role in the LAC region.