The Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila have retained its designation as a World Heritage Site. The status was in cloud of doubts due to pollution and mismanagement affecting the area but the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has cleared the claims. The agave crops and old industrial plants where the traditional drink was made, located in the western Mexican states of Jalisco, Guanajuato and Nayarit, was conferred with the title of a World Heritage Site in 2006.

Agave

"We're convinced this was a decision well taken," UNESCO official Nuria Sanz told a press conference in this western metropolis. Sanz made a tour of the region to oversee the development taking place in the region. The UNESCO representative said that the projects undertaken in the tequila-producing area "are beginning to show how World Heritage Sites in the Latin American region can be developed," since they include projects that involve the community.

"Preserving an area is not easy, because one of the most important aspects is improving people's lives," she said. Sanz said that the ruling on cultural heritage does not mean that designated regions have to remain unchanged, but that local town governments should help them grow. "At no time are the sites expected to be inalterable, embalmed in tradition - they must grow with the times," she said.

Tequila is the liquor produced from the blue agave around the town of Tequila, Mexico. The region has been associated with agave cultivation and tequila distillation since the 17th century. Today, the agave culture is seen as part of Mexico's national identity and is known worldwide.