Sustaining Culture: Tepoztlán, Morelos

The pueblo magico of Tepoztlán in the central state of Morelos has a new asset to boast: the recently inaugurated Pedro López Elías Cultural Center.
In addition to promoting education, culture and arts in Tepoztlán, the center will be used to host cultural activities like film festivals.
Its library –the first privately owned library in the country to be incorporated into the National Council for Culture and Arts’ (CONACULTA) Public Library Network– has over 45,000 books and audiovisual titles and will shortly be receiving more from a private fund for the education of small local communities.
This is the first fully sustainable center of its kind in the country and, as such, will also be the first to obtain LEED certification for its eco-friendly architecture. The building is oriented so as to maximize the collection, storage and distribution of solar energy, thereby reducing dependence on heating and air conditioning systems; it also has rainwater collection and purification systems.
The first stage in the digitalization of the works of the National Anthropology Museum (MNA) has almost been completed. Coordinated by the MNA –the most important museum of its kind in Latin America, located in Mexico City– in conjunction with the National Council for Culture and Arts and the National Institute of Anthropology and History, this first phase, which began in 2010 consisted of photographing some 8,000 artifacts recovered from archaeological digs. Between 12 and 24 photos were taken of each piece from different angles to offer a 360 degree perspective that makes it possible to appreciate their color, texture, and proportions. These 8,000 pieces represent only half of the artifact displayed in the museum’s 23 permanent halls and a mere six percent of the 128,000 artifacts in its vaults.
Parallel to that process, 6,000 pieces from the museum’s ethnographic halls and contemporary works and documents from its history archives were digitalized.
As a result of these efforts, people from all over the world can now access vestiges of the cultures of Mesoamerica, such as the Sunstone and the Maya stelae (carved stones) in the MNA’s safekeeping.