The Pueblos Magicos (Magical Villages) Program works to identify and promote a series of Mexican villages  that offer tourists a “magical” experience through architecture, traditions, customs, music, gastronomy, festivities and handcrafts. The program started by identifying two villages in 2001 but recently reached 50 with the addition of three more villages in 2012.
Villages earn this moniker for having preserved important factions of Mexico’s natural beauty, cultural richness, and historical significance. Once identified as a Pueblo Magico, the program invests into their restoration, which includes renovating museums, convents and churches. The ultimate goals being to preserve Mexico’s culture, give each town its own identity, and provide tourists with unique destination alternatives that are “different and complementary” to top destinations like Cancun, Acapulco and Los Cabos.
The list includes villages like Izamal  on the Yucatan Peninsula with its magnificent Franciscan convent, the silver mines and silversmiths of Taxco in Guerrero state, Cuetzalan in Puebla with its artisanal coffee growers and the beauty of its glorious natural surroundings, Creel in the mountains of Chihuahua state where the Tarahumara Indians live, and Jalpan de Serra  in San Luis Potosi where tourists can explore the route of old colonial missions. This year three more have been added: Sombrerete  in Zacatecas, Mineral de Pozos in Guanajuato, and Angangueo  in Michoacán. Each adding a unique attribute to the list.
Most importantly, the program makes sure that local inhabitants are part of the rejuvination and are benefited by the tourism. It’s essential that “they’re not left watching other people make money but rather join the different projects.”