Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE or simply “Fondo”) is a spanish language, non-profit publishing group, partly founded by the mexican government. It is based in Mexico but it has subsidiaries throughout the spanish-speaking world.
It was founded in 1934 by Daniel Cosío Villegas with the original purpose of providing students of economics from the Escuela Nacional de Economía with specialized books in spanish. Soon, it expanded its interests to other subjects: humanities, literature (mostly works written in spanish), popular science, children’s books and literature for young adults.
FCE’s backlist encompasses more than ten thousand volumes, approximately 5,000 of which are still in print, and it has an electronic catalog of more than 1,300 titles. Due to its wide reach it has had a deep influence on several generations of Latin American readers. FCE has published the books of 65 authors who were awarded with the Nobel Prize; 33 authors awarded with the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, 29 authors honored by the Princess of Asturias Awards, and over 140 authors who were awarded the Mexican National Prize for Arts and Sciences.
The word Económica [“economical”] in its name does not allude to the low sales price of its books, actually a permanent goal of this publishing house, but to the aforementioned initial objective of publishing works on economics. Moreover, the mexican government provides resources to partially cover the costs of production, allowing books to be comparatively more affordable.
In Mexico, FCE has a chain of 27 bookstores in cities like Aguascalientes, Apatzingán, Mexico City, Nezahualcóyotl, Colima, Durango, Guadalajara, León, Monterrey, Morelia, Saltillo and Tuxtla Gutiérrez. In 2016, FCE will open bookstores in Villahermosa and Toluca.
Fondo de Cultura Económica has 10 foreign branches in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, the United States, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela, which cover the spanish-speaking population from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Moreover, FCE has representative offices in: Bolivia, Canada, Ecuador, Honduras, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, besides having distribution partners in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay.
It publishes three periodicals: El Trimestre Económico, founded a few months before FCE itself; La Gaceta, founded in 1954, and Diánoia (jointly published by FCE and the Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, UNAM), in circulation since 1955.
Fondo annually or biennially organizes five prizes and competitions for authors, illustrators and readers: Concurso Leamos la Ciencia para Todos, Concurso de Álbum Ilustrado A la Orilla del Viento, the Premio Hispanoamericano de Poesía para Niños (together with the Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas), the Premio Internacional de Divulgación de la Ciencia Ruy Pérez Tamayo, and the Concurso Iberoamericano de Ensayo para Jóvenes.
In 1989 FCE was awarded the Princess of Asturias Awards in the category of Communications and Humanities as recognition for its work in spanish-speaking countries. In 1987, La Gaceta earned the Mexican Premio Nacional de Periodismo.