San Pedro & El Salvador are Sister Cities

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 45            November 17, 2005

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Last Saturday, fireworks lit the sky in celebration of the finalization sister-city agreement between San Pedro Town and Antiguo, Cuscatlan, El Salvador. Spirits were high and the party went on until the wee hours of the morning with the spectacular Amigos band from El Salvador.

   Prior to the official program, the Salvador delegation was treated to a “meet and greet” barbecue, “island-style” dinner at Caliente on Thursday. On Friday, a trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve was in order, where the group got in touch with the spectacular marine life off of Ambergris Caye.

   The main festivities took place on Friday with a great Mayan Buffet at Elvis Kitchen where the delightful music of Pablo Collado was enjoyed by all. The program officially got under way shortly after 8:00 p.m. with the National Anthem of both Salvador and Belize blasting on the speakers. Everyone stood at attention as they paid homage to the national hymns.

   Mistress of Ceremonies Kainie Manuel invited the delegates and special invited guests to the stage to take their place. Present for the night were the Mayors of Antiguo Cuscatlan Licensiada Zoila Milagro Navas and San Pedro Elsa Paz, Area Representative for Belize Rural South Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Ligia Escobar Pinelo, Salvadoran Ambassador to Belize Manuel Antonio Vasquez, Mayor of Benque Viejo del Carmen Said Guerra, and Councilors for both Antiguo Cuscatlan and San Pedro.

   The ceremonies kicked off with the Welcome Address by Honorable Manuel Heredia, who commended the ties which were being formed on that night. “They are ties of love, friendship and sisterhood. Ties that join both towns together in a peaceful and amicable union. Such ties should be celebrated and not broken.”

   An address by his Lordship Said Guerra followed, who again highly praised the union and went on to offer his best wishes to both towns. Mayor Elsa Paz took to the podium next. She presented gifts to Mayor Milagros Nava including the key to San Pedro and stating, “We give you the keys as a symbol of our sisterhood and most sincere trust in you. […] I am certain that our relationship will grow to be one of the most coveted of all time.

   Mayor Milagros Nava spoke of the great relationship now being formed. “We want to keep San Pedro a beautiful island. […] People from El Salvador have been welcomed into this community with open arms and I greatly appreciate that. […] Tonight I feel proud, everything that we (Antiguo, Cuscatlan) does will be in an effort to help your town, as well. […] I go back home even more in love with this island than Madonna was. […] We are all family tied with the lace of love and sisterhood.” She presented Mayor Paz with an open invitation to visit Antiguo, Cuscatlan in December to crown their queen.

   The final remarks were offered by Vice-Minister to Foreign Affairs Ligia Escobar Pinelo while the Vote of Thanks was given by Deputy Mayor Severo Guerrero Sr.

   The night concluded with a spectacular fireworks show which was a gift from our friends in El Salvador and the dynamic music of Amigos band who had everyone twisting and dancing all night.
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