Casa de las Am'ricas was founded in April 1959 for the purpose of developing and extending the socio-cultural relations with the countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and the rest of the world. It has developed into one of the best-known and most prominent cultural institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The institution awards the Casa de las Am'ricas Prize, one of the oldest and most prestigious prizes in Latin American literature. It also researches, supports, and publishes the work of writers, social scientists, humanists, sculptors, musicians, and other artists and students of literature and the arts. Its official organ is the journal Casa de las Am'ricas, published since 1961.
Awarded every two years, the UNESCO-UNAM/Jaime Torres Bodet Prize is intended to reward the efforts of a person, group of people or international institution that has contributed to the development of knowledge and society through art, teaching and research in social sciences and humanities. It is meant to promote pioneering initiatives that may contribute to the development, diffusion and consolidation of the values of humanity.
The Prize was named after Jaime Torres Bodet, eminent poet, novelist, essay writer and diplomat from Mexico and' one of the founding members of UNESCO and Director-General of the Organization from 1948 to 1952. The Prize, created at the initiative of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), highlights the close links between UNESCO and UNAM.
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