America’s natural and cultural heritage has a special significance worldwide. It was the last continent that was populated by Humanity and for thousands of years it was far from the influences of the rest of the world until the European conquest and colonization radically altered its natural and cultural environment that it had held on to for thousands of years. We are split, traditionally, into two large cultural and economic areas: the United States and Canada on the one hand and Latin America and the Caribbean on the other. As a matter of fact, both before and now, the borders of such a division are hazy and in constant flux; migrations continue as active as ever and the indigenous, colonial and modern fundaments are still present, contradicting unequal development, shaky
democracies and an overwhelming desire to build a freer and better world for all.It is in this context that cultural heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean is undergoing a special process, littler studied and analyzed in its context. In fact, the threats of deterioration and destruction are greater as a result of accelerated change and the impact of urban sprawl and concentration, besides the productive transformations in the rural sector. However, there is an awakening, albeit slow but progressive, of the
meanings of heritage for a better development and way of life for the population. The situation is different in each country and the factors controlling this process have different values or integration in each case. In some, the discovery of one’s own heritage and identity acts as a shield against the negative effects of globalization; in others it leads to a reencounter, a dialogue between cultural diversities and the possibility of building new social reference points.

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