Mayors on the border meet to promote tourismBy Jonathon Shacat
Wick News Service
AGUA PRIETA, Sonora, Mexico — Mayors from several cities from the border region met Monday, Oct. 29 in Agua Prieta, Sonora, to discuss ideas to promote tourism in Sonora, Mexico, and Cochise County.
The meeting involved Naco, Sonora, Mayor Jesus Armol Gallardo; Agua Prieta Mayor Irma Villalobos Rascon Teran; Bisbee Mayor-Elect Adriana Zavala Badal; Douglas Mayor Danny Ortega Jr.; and Cananea Mayor Francisco Javier Tarazon Curlango.
Oscar Antonio de la Torre Amezcua, the Consul of Mexico in Douglas, said this event was the first meeting of its kind for these five officials, and he invited other mayors from Cochise County cities to participate in future meetings.
"The role of the Mexican Consulate is to join together all interested in good relations between the two countries. We only are giving the opportunity to get together and plan acts and programs that will benefit all in the border community," he said.
Teran, the Agua Prieta mayor, said officials want to hold these meetings every two months to discuss the security situation in the border cities. She wanted Americans to know the border is safe and there are good restaurants and doctors in Agua Prieta.
A fair will be held early next year in Agua Prieta to give people in Douglas a chance to become aware of the products and medical facilities that are available in Sonora, said Ortega, the Douglas mayor.
A sister-city agreement will be signed between Douglas and and Agua Prieta in November to formalize the relationship between the two cities.
"We are hoping to do more bi-national events," Ortega added, "to see if we can get people to come to the United States and kind of break down the border in a way to have people cross for sporting events or cultural events, or to get new businesses to use some of the facilities in Douglas or Agua Prieta because some of the maquila industry has slowed down and we want to start promoting that."
Badal, mayor-elect of Bisbee, said she hopes to hold an annual event in Bisbee starting in June to celebrate Mexican culture and the border region community in terms music and food.
"I am going to invite the group to Bisbee in January, so we would have our next meeting in Bisbee and we can start to talk a little bit more specifically about what we can do together and that may include more opportunities for tourism and cultural events," she said.