World Heritage sites management and local communities participation. The case of archaeological sites in Mexico.

Amilcar Vargas

This presentation will introduce the state of the art of the implementation of local communities participation in archaeological sites in Mexico. Since the nineties, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has encouraged State Parties to engage local communities in World Heritage site’s management, as a way to share the sense of responsibility for their protection. Mexico, as a leader country in site’s inscriptions -it is 7th in number of sites and 1st. in American continent- is called to apply these policies in order to implicate local communities in the management of the site, which include -among others- the field of tourism, economy, identity, conservation, interpretation and local development issues. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and data analysis, this talk will present a partial result of three archaeological site cases in Mexico inscribed in the World Heritage List: The Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan, the most visited archaeological site in the country; the Pre-Hispanic city of El Tajín, the unique place where other two Intangible World Heritage inscription coincide -both with the UNESCO brand-; and The Mayan City and National Park of Palenque, the site with the highest rate of indigenous people inhabitants. This research is part of the PhD in Society and Archaeology, held at the Faculty of Geography and History of the University of Barcelona.