The Culture And Cultural Heritage Of A Nation

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The culture and cultural heritage of a nation


Culture is an abstraction, a theoretical construction from the behavior of individuals in a group. Culture refers to specific behaviors and given ideas that emerge from these behaviors, it is the evolution or human ability to classify and represent the experiences and the different ways in which people live in different parts of the world, classifying and representing their experiences.

Cultural heritage

What is heritage?

It comes from the Latin ¨patrimonium¨, a word used by the Romans to refer to the material inheritance that parents bequeathed their children, and refers to the inheritance we receive from our parents and nature. Heritage is part of the cultural heritage of a people or state and constitutes the values that are transmitted to future generations.

What is heritage as inheritance and as a culture?

The heritage is transmitted from generation to generation and being the basis on which culture is based, it is part of the community of a society and those who make it individually. Like any inheritance, heritage is a value that serves to establish social and historical ties, so it must be tried to be transmitted to the following generations in the best conditions. The heritage as a cultural collective inheritance of the past connects and relates yesterday’s human beings with those of the present, for the benefit of their cultural wealth and their sense of identity. Thanks to the heritage we can define ourselves as a people where the history and culture of which we come are valued by each of us.

In 1978, UNESCO made the declaration of Quito as the first Cultural Heritage City of Humanity and that same year the Galapagos Islands are registered within the Natural Heritage.

Within the national context, the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador (Art 379), contemplates as part of our heritage to:

  1. Languages, forms of expression, oral tradition, various manifestations and cultural creations, including those of a festive and productive ritual nature.
  2. Urban buildings, spaces and ensemble.
  3. The documents, objects, collections, archives, libraries and museums that have historical, artistic, archaeological, ethnographic or paleontological value.
  4. Artistic, scientific and technological creations.


Natural heritage

It is the set of natural elements with exceptional value from the point of view of science, it is the habit of animal and plant species source of life and resources for humanity. Natural heritage is constituted by natural monuments built by physical and biological formations that were created over time by nature. In order to consider an element of nature as a natural heritage, this must be a representative example of great stages of the history of the earth, including the Biodiversity Registry, to be significant in geological processes, its geological and physiographic form. They are important areas for the conservation of flora and fauna characteristic of a region and a certain climate.

Cultural heritage

UNESCO defines it as "a set of goods that characterize the creativity of a people and that distinguish social societies and groups from each other, giving them their sense of identity, whether inherited or recent production".

Cultural heritage is the dynamic, integrative and representative set of social goods and practices created, maintained, transmitted and recognized by people, communities, peoples and nationalities. The different societies have included in their heritage any cultural inheritance to make it known to its people, to share, enjoy it and thus create a sense of belonging that has moved the peoples to feel identified from their past.

Ecuador has some recognized places as World Heritage of Humanity, such as: The capital of Quito (1978), Galapagos (a paradise of humanity), varied ecosystem forms the Sangay National Park, the Toquilla straw hat, among others.

Administrative political division

Historical background

The current Ecuador has been the scene of a long cultural historical process, with undoubted repercussions on the environment, this process has been formed, over time, part of the socio -economic development that finally influences the political configuration of the State.

The first pre -Columbian territorial reference that in our opinion constitutes not only a cultural historical reference but also a reference for the present. Native ethnicities or nations kept within the framework of an agricultural economy, fishing, etc., A treatment and articulation with the territory based on a harmonious relationship with nature, and this was closely linked to the harmony of cosmos.

Today, the territory such as the Republic of Ecuador, the pre -Columbian nations and peoples, as it has occurred in the great cultures of the world were organized on the basis of not only knowing nature but of an organization of the times, productive, holidays, thisRelationship of harmony of time, territory and organization not only socioeconomic but in the religious sphere derived in an integrative articulation of the totality of the human being intimately linked to the totality of the existing.

Some of the background of the history of Ecuador: aboriginal era, colonial era, first period implantation of the colonial order, second boom in colonial order, third period redefinition of colonial order, independence and Colombian stage of independence, Ecuador in Colombia, timerepublican characterization of the Republic, the first period of the national Creole project, second period of national mestizo project, third period of the National Diversity Project.

In recent decades, the economic-neoliberal model has generated great levels of social inequality that has resulted towards a clear inequality and atomization of the territory, where some receive more economic resources than others than others than others.

Administrative Political Division

The Republic of Ecuador is divided into 24 provinces, distributed as follows: Litoral or Cost.

The 24 provinces are subdivided into cantons and these in urban and rural parishes, are governed by governors, mayors, political leaders, and political lieutenants, depending on the province, canton or parishes respectively.

The historical evolution of the political-administrative division

Consolidated the dependence of the territories that currently constitute the republics of Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Venezuela, the existence of the Republic of Colombia, better known as La Gran Colombia, is proclaimed. On June 25, 1824, a Territorial Division Law was issued, determining that the Republic of Colombia is divided into 12 departments, with the characteristics observed, in the following table.

In 1830, the three departments located south of Gran Colombia agree to be part of the Republic of Ecuador: Ecuador, Azuay and Guayaquil, with the same territorial division they had in the Republic of Colombia: in provinces and these in cantons, asWe can appreciate in Table 2.

With this territorial division, the Ecuadorian State begins, in which it can be seen that it consists of 3 departments, 8 provinces and 33 cantons;There is no presence of parish division.

The National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) agency that currently has the legal mandate to periodically publish the updates of the LOT, has prepared the publication of the administrative political division of the Republic of Ecuador in this update the country accountWith 24 provinces, 221 cantons, 405 urban parishes, and 778 rural parishes.

Territorial organization and planning areas

Unitary states that have a constitution, legislative monopoly, differs from the federal each State has its constitution and legislative, executive and judicial function, the organization of the territory: national, intermediate and local.

They are organized by provinces, cantons and parishes, which comply with 2 purposes, viable the political representation and administration of the State, are organized in such a way in which the different areas and their derivatives of the Ecuadorian territory can be divided and differentiated from the Ecuadorian territory.

For the elaboration of the proposal for territorial reorganization, criteria were established according to the objectives of the new structuring of the democratic state: 

  • Form areas with contiguous provinces (territorial group between adjoining provinces):
  • Maintain the current political division (not divide parishes, cantons, provinces);
  • Link provinces with similar requirements
  • Consider the cantons of Quito and Guayaquil as metropolitan districts;Y,
  • Consider the Galapagos Islands archipelago as a special treatment zone.

Territorial potentials are understood as the elements or components of the territory that have comparative and competitive advantages for the development of a region, province, canton or parish, and within this field is the agricultural, forest, livestock, ethnic, tourist, energy, energy, environmental, infrastructure, among others.


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