The event was opened by Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia, who said transformations underway in the countries of the region can only be explained through culture.
Garcia underlined the political strength of culture, which he termed a tool for consolidating an existing order or changing it radically.
He reaffirmed the importance of developing more initiatives, practical actions and materials to make the people of the region more visible and act in unison when needed.
Cuban Culture Vice Minister Fernando Rojas told Prensa Latina that the 18th Forum was a precedent to the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), still to be founded.
On Friday, authorities from some 30 countries will address issues such as the philosophy of Good Living or Living Well and South-South cooperation.
These forums have been held from 1989 as coordination, orientation and decision-making tool on the road towards achieving Latin American and Caribbean cultural integration.