A “Pueblo Mágico” is a locality that has symbolic attributes, legends, history, transcendent facts, daily life, in short magic that emanates in each one of its socio-cultural manifestations. The Pueblos Mágicos Program identifies populations of the country that have always been in the collective imagination of the nation as a whole, and that represent fresh and different alternatives for national and foreign visitors.
Characteristics of a “Pueblo Mágico”
The Mexican SECTUR (Department of Tourism) demands the aspiring communities fulfillment the following requirements:
- Have a population of at least 20 thousand inhabitants.
- Not more than 200km from a main tourist destination.
- Constitute a Magical Town Committee formally.
- Have a local tourism development program for the next 3 years.
- Guarantee health and public safety services for tourists.
- Evidence the symbolic or cultural attraction of the locality.
- As well as any other that the committee considers relevant for the tourism performance of the locality. The decision is also subject to the State Congress and the local council.
Loreto joined the Pueblos Mágicos program in 2012. It is a small paradise isolated from the world, guarded by the Sierra de la Giganta and the Sea of Cortez. In its markets, you can find nice figurines made from seashells and hand-woven garments, as well as a variety of fish and seafood. Loreto is the oldest city in the Californias, being founded as a mission in 1697 by the Jesuit Juan María Salvaterra.
Mission of Our Lady of Loreto
Whale watching (in Isla El Carmen)
Sierra de la Giganta
Mission of San Francisco Javier de Viggé Biaundó
Festivities of Loreto: It is celebrated between the 4 and 8 September with various religious acts and processions. The image of the Virgen of Loreto is accompanied with pilgrimages and novenarios through the city.
Loreto Foundation: Parades and numerous cultural events take place at this party, held between October 18 and 25.
San Javier Festivities: It is celebrated on December 3 with pilgrimages from the Mission of Loreto to San Javier, accompanied by fireworks and musical and sports events.
Ventura, California, USA – Loreto, Baja California Sur, México
Loreto City Council and Buenaventura (Ventura) City Council have voted unanimously to approve the Sister City relationship between Loreto and Ventura. Each city’s respective mayor presented the other with the Key to their city, expressing enthusiasm about potential opportunities for both cities in areas of cultural and historical exchange, and eco-tourism. Ventura Mayor Heitmann highlighted the historic, cultural, religious, and natural resources that are common to both cities, and exchanges that will benefit both municipalities.
There are efforts to create a sister park relationship between Channel Islands National Park in Ventura and Loreto Bay National Park, that will provide extensive opportunities to share science, research conservation and eco-tourism programs, and sustainable growth efforts.
What is a sister city?
A sister city relationship is one formed between two cities in different countries. The idea was first introduced by President Eisenhower in 1956, who promoted links between citizens of different countries in an effort to bring about citizen diplomacy and build global cooperation at a local level. Cities can have more than one sister city; Chicago is currently leading the pack with 28 sister cities, followed by Los Angeles with 25. A sister city is officially recognized once the highest elected official from both cities signs off on an agreement.
What are the objectives of sister city relationships?
Sister city relationships are meant to be mutually beneficial and may address several different aspects of community development. For example, sister city relationships have helped cities implement innovative policies and management techniques in sanitation, water, health, transportation, tourism, economic development, and education. Sister city partnerships may also help each other during natural disasters or other emergencies by raising funds or collecting needed supplies. Sister cities may also support schools and clinics through the donation of materials or skills-training.
With regard to business and trade, sister city programs create connections with international municipal officials, institutions and businesses. These connections build trust, access, and expertise that help local businesses find new opportunities such as access to new markets, assistance navigating import/export regulations, and expanding availability of resources.
Arts and culture exchanges are some of the oldest international partnerships around. By sharing each other’s cultures through sister city relationships, communities can gain insight into the history, values and spirit that make up their sister city. Exchanges may take different forms including musical performances, art exhibits, peace parks and gardens, and international cultural festivals.
Opportunities for international and diplomacy experience for youth is also a benefit of sister city relationships. They provide a unique opportunity for youth to travel abroad and experience another community as a guest, rather than a tourist. Activities often include short- and long-term student exchanges and sports tournaments.
In Mexico, approximately 150 natural protected areas have been decreed. These cover a surface of about 44 million acres (17.8 million ha) located in six different management categories: 1.- biosphere reserves; 2.- natural parks: 3.-flora and fauna protection areas; 4.- natural resource protection areas; 5.- natural monuments; and 6.- sanctuaries.
The Loreto Bay National Marine Park is located in the central western portion of the Gulf of California on the coast of the state of Baja California Sur. This comprises an area of 510, 500 acres (206,581 ha), of which 89% corresponds to a marine area and the remainder to an insular zone.
The creation of this national park was carried out by means of a decree published in the Official document of the Federation, which was published on July 19, 1996. It currently has an area of 206,580 acres. The purpose of said decree is to protect and restore the environmental conditions of the place to seek the sustainable development of the same, and in the same way to achieve the correct planning of the use of the natural resources it contains.
This place is of great importance in the region since, according to the Management Program of the Protected Natural Area with the character of the Bahía de Loreto National Park, 1 a total of 30 species of species have been recorded in the area that makes up the national park. Marine mammals are subject to special protection; being, 75% of these species that occur on the coasts of Mexico, which places this area designated as a national park as one with the highest number of marine mammals nationwide.
The Loreto Bay National Marine Park has 5 large islands and 19 islets, which were included in the polygonal of the creation decree. The islands are:
It has an approximate area of 7.59 km2 and is at 2.61 km to the nearest point of the coast of Loreto, it is called “Coronados” because has arrived at this round island on November 8, 1633, date of the Christian calendar in the which commemorated the four saints crowned martyrs, the name was given by the Spanish Captain Francisco de Ortega. A volcano forms the main part of the Island, is formed by the reddish to grayish colored vessels and by a crater on the top that has been partially eroded and is at a maximum height of 283 meters above sea level.
It has an area of approximately 143 km2 and is 6 km from the closest point to the coast of Loreto. The stories tell that in the year of 1698 one of the ships of the Spanish missionaries had to dock near a bay because of problems in the boat. The Jesuits found it by accident went they found salt deposits in this bay of the island called “Bahia Salinas.” This deposit was exploited for the following centuries, but it was abandoned in 1984 leaving the ruins and buildings of the town that lived from this deposit, including houses, warehouses and a chapel “Nuestra Señora del Carmen”.
It has an area of approximately 4.5 km2 and is 2.6 km from the closest point to the coast of Loreto. It is an island of small dimensions, but of an impressive natural wealth with cliffs of reddish quarry due to its volcanic origin. According to myths and legends, the name of the island “Danzante” (meaning dancer) was born when the Jesuits arrived at this place and observed that at that time the native tribes of Loreto such as the Guaycuras, Cochimíes and Pericúes performed dance rites on this island, in offering to their Gods to have abundant rains in their lands and thus maintain their prosperity.
It has an area of approximately 20 km2 and is 13.70 km from the closest point to the coast of Loreto. From its privileged position, you can admire the imposing figure of “La Sierra de la Giganta” of Loreto.
The island is about 13 km long and 4 km wide maximum with a total area of 39.2 square kilometers. Isla Catalana, being uninhabited, is separated by the sea from the nearest town, Loreto, which lies about 60 km away. Originally named Isla Catalan, the official and traditional name of the island is “Isla Catalana.” Confusion has been caused by some documents of the U.S. cartographic service incorrectly using the name “Isla Santa Catalina.”
- Ganster, P. (2007). Loreto “The future of the First Capital of the Californias”. San Diego State University Press: Institute Regional Studies of the California.
- Wikipedia. (2008). Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto. Wikipedia. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parque_nacional_Bah%C3%ADa_de_Loreto
- Federal México Government. (March 15 2016). Programa Pueblos Mágicos. Mexico City. http://www.sectur.gob.mx/gobmx/pueblos-magicos/loreto-baja-california-sur/
- Ventura, California, USA, . (2018). Our Sister City. . Recovery from https://visitventuraca.com/blog/sistercity-ventura-loreto/
- Wikipedia. (2008). Isla Santa Catalina. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isla_Santa_Catalina
Sister City- Hermosa Beach, California:
Loreto sister Mission: