The Regional Secretariat for South America
The member countries of the Regional Secretariat for South America – thus named by the OWHC – have similar historic components characterized by cultural, ethnic and geographical biodiversity reflected in their heritage values and monument sites.
The Secretariat currently comprises the following cities: Olinda (Brazil), Valparaiso (Chile), Cuenca and Quito (Ecuador), Arequipa, Cusco and Rimac (Peru), Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay) and Sucre (Bolivia).
The Regional Secretariat for South America Host City: Rimac
Rímac administers 40% of the UNESCO Lima Declaration, a cultural heritage of humanity since 1991. It consists of 50 blocks of houses covering 83 hectares and 73 civilian and religious monuments classified and declared national heritage sites since 1979. The declaration was made possible thanks to the urban ensemble of their architectural and spatial values and the development of societal and intangible identity values that have characterized the history of the country up to modern times: mixed racial backgrounds, creole descendance and gastronomy.
As the home of viceroys, Metis and African descendants, the streets themselves bear witness to the history of national heroes and artists who had a strong impact on the country’s development, from the vice royalty and the republic to contemporary era. Rimac, located at the very heart of the city of Lima, is the actor and witness to what we are as a society and country in Peru today.
The Regional Secretariat for South America plans to develop structuring means aligned with those established by the General Secretariat and the objectives of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) so that member cities may proactively share and set up projects together to develop, preserve, innovate, manage and organize their monuments, monument sites and heritage cites. The main task consists of encouraging the shared collaborative work of members and other regional secretariats of the Organization.
This is why the coordination process is also viewed as a management policy in the municipality of Rimac: the mayor himself assumes leadership jointly with the regional coordinator.
Regional coordination is ensured by the general manager of the Rimac Historic Centre, architect Shirley Mozo Mercado. She is an urban planner who specializes in the management of medium- and intermediate-scale settings and has also studied heritage and real estate development management.
The Rimac Training Workshop, responsible for managing the historic centre of Rimac, promotes projects to develop, recover and showcase tangible and intangible heritage that focus on the social inclusion of vulnerable sectors of this district. The first group targeted is youth through education, entrepreneurship and innovation.
The next goal of the Regional Secretariat for South America is to become a secretariat strengthened by its member cities and other heritage cities in South America that join in the process to develop projects and activities.
Another goal is to use a platform as a driver to share knowledge to be applied to current subjects through collective declarations and initiatives that might be applied to the different countries of the member cities.
Communicate the policies of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) to all South American heritage cities listed with UNESCO.
Promote regional meetings as recognition meetings for member cities and inspire new heritage cities to join in order to further strengthen the Regional Secretariat for South America.
Encourage youth, schools and government authorities to become involved in restoring world heritage cities.
Support the use of technology and proposals to innovate in heritage sites and cites and promote intangible heritage.