In 1998, UNESCO declared Tlacotalpan, a city located in the Mexican state of Veracruz, a World Heritage Site due to its remarkable architecture and its colonial-era layout. Founded in 1550 on an island in the Papaloapan River, this port town was an essential center of trade and transportation in Latin America from the colonial era to the 20th century. With the introduction of the railroad, however, the city's significance decreased. During the latter 20th century, initiatives were taken to protect the Caribbean-style buildings and streets of Tlacotalpan, ultimately leading to its protected World Heritage status. Nowadays, it relies mainly on fishing and tourism for its economy, especially for its yearly celebration honoring Our Lady of Candlemas, which has earned it the nickname "pearl of the Papaloapan."