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Mayor’s International Brunch celebrates TCF and sister cities in Space Odyssey Adventure
The Mission Event Center was filled with laughter, food and international relations as Mission leaders and Mexican sister cities gathered for the annual Mayor’s International Brunch last Saturday before the parade.
The event, which was held in celebration of the Texas Citrus Fiesta, included Congressman Henry Cuellar, who acted as the keynote speaker, and Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, who was honored as the parade marshal for the TCF Parade of Oranges that afternoon. The recurring theme of the brunch was aimed toward building bridges rather than walls.
Following the playing of both the United States and Mexican national anthems, Father Roy Snipes of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mission gave an invocation blessing those in attendance and beyond.
Roxanne Lerma, the Media Relations Director for the city of Mission, spoke about the 50-year tradition.
“It’s a really special opportunity for us to celebrate our international friendships, to pay tribute to the citrus industry and also to honor our city’s long and very distinguished history,” Lerma said. “Nearly 500 leaders from throughout the Valley, the state and Mexico are here to foster international relations.”
Welcome remarks were given by Mayor Armando O’caña, Cesar Suarez, the Chairman of the Board for the Mission Chamber of Commerce and city council member Ruben Plata, the President of the Mission Sister City Committee. O’caña thanked everyone for being there for the momentous occasion, which included the signing of a new sister city (Fortin, Veracruz).
“I am honored to welcome you to our All-America City of Mission,” O’caña said. “Today we are here for the Mayor’s Brunch, but also for the celebration of our culture, our legacy and our heritage – the Texas Citrus Fiesta.”
O’caña spoke about TCF and how it has impacted the city over the years.
“It is a unique way for us to highlight the citrus industry, and it is of critical importance to the history of our community,” O’caña said. “The citrus industry was and is the foundation of Mission. It truly inspires what once was a few orchards in Mission and now has grown into part of Mission’s rich heritage.”
After the welcome, Senator Hinojosa was presented as the 2020 Parade of Oranges Grand Marshal. He spoke highly of the recognition, and was flattered and humbled that the place he grew up was choosing to honor him.
“There are so many fond memories of attending the citrus parade,” Hinojosa said. “For me, Mission is very special. The support that I have in Mission gave me character, gave me strength to be a state senator.”
Congressman Cuellar gave the keynote address, where he stressed that international relations will be made better when we forge ties with our neighbors.
“Welcome to Mission, Texas, where we know that we’d rather build bridges than a wall – a 14th Century solution,” Cuellar said to applause from the audience. “We as neighbors, we want to get to know each other, we want to make sure that we make the bond between the United States and Mexico stronger.”
“When somebody in Washington sees Russia as a friend, and Mexico as an enemy, we know the world has been turned upside down,” Cuellar added. “Regardless of the rhetoric you hear from Washington, from a particular place, it’s only temporary. This is why [our] friendship and relationship, whether its culture, music, trade or tourism is stronger than some of the rhetoric.”
The speeches were followed by a recognition of the sister cities, which include Linares, Nuevo Leon; Cd. Victoria, Tamaulipas; Salinas Victoria, Nuevo Leon; Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco; Allende, Nuevo Leon; San Fernando, Tamaulipas; General Escobedo, Nuevo Leon; Cd. Madero, Tamaulipas; Quintana Roo; Cadereyta Jimenez, Nuevo Leon; Casimiro Castillo, Jalisco; Villa del Carbon, Estado de Mexico; Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas; Monclova, Coahuila; Angostura, Sinaloa; Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon; Francisco I. Madero, Coahuila; Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo; General Teran, Nuevo Leon; Coatlan del Rio, Morelos; Province of Panama, Republic of Panama; Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas; Department of Quetzaltenango, Republic of Guatemala; Reynosa, Tamaulipas; Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas and Fortin, Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave.
Once the cities were recognized and the sponsors were named, Mission leaders signed documents naming Fortin, Veracruz as a new sister city.