Photo: Miguel de Cervantes Library


The United States and the northern Mexican state of Sonora will be the official guests of honor at the 51st edition of the International Cervantino Festival (FIC), Mexico’s Culture Secretariat announced Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The festival, considered to be the most important culture forum in the country, is set to be held in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato from Oct. 13 through Oct. 29.

During a press conference at the National Palace of Fine Arts, Culture Secretary Alejandra Frausto Guerrero noted that the choice to honor Mexico’s northern neighbor during the FIC was based on the yearlong celebration of the bicentennial of bilateral diplomatic relations.

“Historically, the visions of the United States and those of Mexico have been crossed by many stories,” Frausto Guerrero said.

“If we look at this from the cultural perspective, we find that Mexico and the United States are sister cultures, cultures that transcend across the desert from the north of Mexico to the southern United States. They are two cultures divided by a border, but through this cultural diversity and this recognition of who we are, we can better understand each other as two countries that have built bridges through art and culture.”

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, who was also in attendance at the press conference, added that it was an honor for his country to be chosen as the FIC’s guest country of honor.

“The Cervantino Festival is an opportunity to strengthen understanding between our nations and celebrate their greatness,” he said.

For his part, Sonora Governor Alfonso Durazo Montaño, said that his state will be showcasing its indigenous Yaqui, Mayo, Seri, Guarijío, Pápago, Kikapúe and Ópata roots during the festival, as well as migrant culture.

Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo, who will serve as the festival’s host, noted that the FIC, which began at the Cervantes Hors d’Oeuvres Festival 70 years ago, has captured the essence of culture symbolized by its namesake, 16th century Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes.

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