ICY: Yucatan’s Institute of Culture
The international community of Merida is a growing, dynamic group of people from all over the world. Among many of its members, there is a strong desire to join and form service clubs that help a diverse number of causes.
Yesterday I was invited to attend a meeting at the Instituto de Cultura (ICY) – the State of Yucatan’s Cultural Institute. The purpose was to inform international community representatives of the aims and accomplishments of the institute and to show us their willingness to help with the projects we are involved in.
About twenty of us were welcomed by Maricarmen Perez and the Director of the ICY, Mr. Renan Guillermo Gonzalez. We were then shown a video that highlighted the achievements of the ICY… and they are many!
The main thrust of the ICY is to promote cultural arts. There are programs and initiatives that support the performing and visual arts; literature and writing, cultural patrimony, education, traditional medicine and hand crafts. It is truly amazing what they have accomplished. There are success stories all over the state.
Just to name a few – there are five youth symphony orchestras; a college that delivers Bachelor degrees in the Arts; regional dance and Salsa classes for the senior citizens! The Director of the ICY explained that the government is convinced these programs are essential to combating gang influence and the proliferation of an unhealthy lifestyle.
I have always believed that much of a person’s education comes from observation and being exposed to culture. These programs are doing just that. Imagine how novel and exciting it must be for small children when they are given musical instruments for the first time. Then they are given lessons by professional musicians from Merida’s Symphony Orchestra… This builds tremendous self confidence and gives them a focus that they carry into other areas of their lives.
I think there is something wonderful about a state that places such a high priority of fomenting cultural enjoyment… I applaud the ICY’s accomplishments and am very gratified they have taken the initiative in welcoming the international community’s involvement in their agenda.
The office of the ICY is located in García Ginerés in the ex-Banrural building. (Calle 18 No. 204 X 18) Maricarmen Perez, the liaison between the ICY and the community (who is also an amazing singer and speaks very perfect English) says that she welcomes any members of Yucatan’s international community who want information about, or the the support of the ICY. You can call 920-3210 and make an appointment with her.
*** All images are from the ICY website