Ministers of Culture from Central America meet in Costa Rica

Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud,
05 November 2009, Costa Rica

Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica discussed the regional agenda for the period 2009-2011, the Central American culture portal and the diagnosis of culture information systems and indicators in the region.

Ministers and Institute Directors met within the frame of reference of the 15th Meeting of CECC/SICA Culture Authorities Council, past October 30, in the offices of the Central American Education and Culture Coordination (CECC), in Escalante neighbourhood.

It was agreed to authorize the SG/CECC/SICA to elevate to the Presidential Summit the Culture Regional Agenda 2009-2011 and the Central American Culture Portal. Also, to collaborate in the creation of Central American culture routes in cooperation with SICA’s Tourism Technical Secretariat – to promote sustainable tourism it is necessary to establish which are the cultural resources available in the region.

Some proposals made by Maria Elena Carballo, Costa Rica’s Minister of Culture, were approved: 1) To increase and consolidate each country’s participation in the Central American Youth Orchestra, based in Costa Rica and mentored by Berlin’s Philharmonic Orchestra; 2) To facilitate each country’s participation in the Conference “Curatorship for Central American Art in the XX Century”, and 3) to promote Central American participation in the meetings and international training courses for National Music Bands, that take place in Costa Rica”. She also presented a Progress Report of the MCJ actions in Central America, in music (youth participation in the Central American Youth Orchestra) and in visual, audiovisual and performing arts (National Dance Company tours).

El Salvador Strengthens its Cultural Sector

Breni Cuenca, El Salvador’s Minister of Culture shared her ideas on what is taking place in her country in the realm of culture. She has been in charge for just three months.

Which are your main projects? ¿Which are your projects in Central America? ¿How would you like to make visible your country’s culture?

My main project is to organize the Secretariat. 25 institutions are part of it, archaeology, museums, and theatres. We are also planning on the long run and in this sense our most important project is to strengthen arts and education in schools, universities and also research in this area.

We are creating the Research Institute for Arts and Culture, which is a complete new line. We are also creating performing and visual arts circuits in 168 casas de cultura (local cultural centres) that make part of the Secretariat. We want to take advantage of this infrastructure and liven it up and strengthen it so that communities and children can access workshops, join choirs and orchestras. These are more complex projects we are aiming for.

We are working jointly with ministries of culture that belong to SICA in the creation of common plans.

Once the institution is organized which will be your main project?

We signed an agreement with Italy to create a cultural heritage restoration school. We also signed an agreement with Universidade de Sao Paulo and the Sao Paulo Contemporary Art Museum. We are bringing one of their art exhibitions to El Salvador. We are also preparing an agreement with Universidad Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM). I have also visited Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology. The visit to Brazil was of great importance, because we had a very important exchange with Ibero-American ministers and secretaries of culture.

Which is the Secretariat’s budget?

Our budget is 14.5 million dollars. It is quite conservative for the size of our institution, but we will cope with it.

CECC’s Activities in the Region*

What is the CECC/SICA?

It is part of the SICA and acts as Technical Secretariat in the areas of education and culture. It promotes cooperation and integration in the fields of culture and education in Central America. It facilitates communication, information and decision-making in the region and promotes exchange among the Ministers of Education and Culture.

It meets SICA’s purposes and principles.

CECC/SICA’s Mission

To promote and boost integration in Central America in the areas of education and culture, conceived as the core of sustainable human development, through a process of deconcentration and respecting the social, cultural and natural diversity of its member countries.

CECC/SICA’s Vision

To become a solid and leading organization in the regional integration process, in the areas of education and culture, acknowledged and trusted both in the nationally and internationally.

*Taken from CECC’s Website (