Chetumal/San Pedro establish 'sister' relationship

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 46            December 11, 2003

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San Pedro Mayor Elsa Paz and Chetumal Mayor Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui join hands to seal alliance

December 5th, 2003 will long be remembered as a historical day on the island as the community celebrated the formation of a sister relationship between the town of San Pedro, Belize and the city of Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

    Last Friday morning, Mayor Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui and twenty Chetumal councilors, accompanied by the Ambassador of Mexico to Belize Arturo Trejo, and members of the Mexican press arrived on the island to witness the signing of an established agreement between the two municipalities.

    After a brief welcome at the airstrip, the Mexican delegation was treated to delicious Caribbean cuisine at Caliente restaurant. A conference between the Belizean and Mexican delegations followed at Banana Beach Resort where SP Mayor Elsa Paz welcomed those gathered. In her speech, she stated how this was just the beginning of a relationship that has long been held together by a close union. She observed that San Pedro and Chetumal share some of the same family names and also a "common bond with only the separation of a fictional boundary." Mayor Paz encouraged the further exchange of customs, traditions and most importantly the "exploration of our cities' resources as tourism products."

    The Chetumal Mayor expressed much of the same sentiment stating, "I hope that this will be a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship."

    This municipal bond is hoped to enhance the development of each community by sharing cultural and lifestyle challenges, and discussing the actions needed to address them. The officials then signed the agreement listing the goals they wished to achieve from this "joining of hands," which were: to strengthen the friendship that unites them; to carry out projects that will attract trade and investment to their communities; and to find solutions to common municipal challenges, by exchanging "lessons learned" from similar experiences.

    The two delegations came together again Friday evening for a succulent Brazilian Rotisserie dinner at El Divino restaurant, where the "Mariachis Los Gallos de Mexico," enchanted the dinner guests. Joining the dignitaries for the evening's event were Belizean beauty ambassadors, Miss Belize Leilah Pandy and Miss San Pedro Tatiana Rivero.

    The entertainment continued that evening in Central Park where members and guests of the community were serenaded by the Mariachis once again. In turn, Belizeans and Mexicans joined them in song as a symbol of the unity established by this recently created Belize-Mexico alliance.

    On Saturday, the dignitaries from Mexico were treated to a tour of the island followed by a visit to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark/Ray Alley. Before their departure, Mayor Elsa Paz and the San Pedro Town Councilors accepted an invitation to visit Chetumal on January 22nd for a reciprocal celebration of this "sisterhood."
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