The governor of Morelos visits Minnesota to strengthen ties and work toward a sister city relationship.
Axochiapan, a beautiful name but unfortunately for some of us, nothing more than a name. Axochiapan is a beautiful town located north of the Mexican state of Morelos, not far from Mexico City. For thousands of Morelenses (natives from Morelos, Mexico) the name Axochiapan is more than just a name, is a wonderful collection of memories form home, color and even tastes that are more than representative of the city. Last week the Governor of Morelos, Dr. Marco Antonio Adame Castillo visited the Twin Cities. His visit was one of the first steps taken to make Axochiapan and Minneapolis sister cities and strengthen the bonds between those Morelenses living in the Twin Cities and their homeland.
It was 9:30 AM when a group of members of the Morelos Governor delegation came into our offices. It was very clear that they were proud and happy to share with us the reasons behind Governor Adame Castillo’s visit.
We sat down and had a great chat. One by one they introduced themselves and suddenly we were all friends. It was Francisco Maldonado Huete, Executive Director of the Migrant’s Affairs and Civic Engagement Office of Morelos; Marco Antonio Galeana, Chair of the Axochiapan City Council; Gerardo Angel Zambrano Aguirre, Migrant’s Affairs Coordinator of the City of Axochiapan, Morelos; Fernando Serrano, First Assistant for the Executive Director of the State of Morelos Water and Environment Commission; and Ernesto Reyes, local entrepreneur and Chair of Club Morelos of Minnesota.
After a few minutes chatting, Maldonado took the lead and explained that the Governor’s visit main goal was to strengthen the bonds between the Morelenses living in the Twin Cities and their homeland. “The Governor is here to listen to their issues and problems.” He said. “And he is here to inaugurate the statue of Emiliano Zapata and a Migrant’s Affairs office in the city of Minneapolis.” Maldonado continued. “The Governor is here to establish a cultural exchange, trade and social exchange between Minnesota and Morelos.” Said Maldonado.
But his visit had other goals too and, according to Gerardo Zambrano, the Governor arrived to Minnesota to make sure that the Office of Morelenses Migrant’s Affairs was opened. “At this office migrants will have the opportunity to request Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, ID’s and other identification papers from Axochiapan, Morelos. “It’s most important objective is to make sure that people without ID documents have an ID.” He said.
And talking about the Emiliano Zapata statue, Fernando Serrano said “It was a hard task to make this dream come true, but we worked with all the involved people to create synergy and finally make sure it arrived [the Emiliano Zapata statue] at the Twin Cities. “I am here as part of this committee and with the support of all the State Secretaries and the Governor, I arrived to see the dream come true with my own eyes.” He said.
“It is really beautiful to find out that plenty of our people have been able to transcend and succeed here in Minneapolis” said Marco Antonio Galeana, Chair of the Axochiapan City Council. “I am sure that the services the Governor is going to inaugurate are going to be really important for our people, both living in the Twin Cities and back home, in Morelos.” He ended.
Ernesto Reyes, local entrepreneur and Chair of Club Morelos said that this visit took a long time in the planning and a lot of efforts were made to take the first steps of the “Sisters Cities” program. He told us that after his arrival in the Cities, the Governor, Dr. Marco Antonio Adame Castillo, was already scheduled to meet with Chris Coleman, St. Paul Mayor and that on Saturday, the 25th of August, he was going to have to surf through a tough schedule that was set to end with the inauguration of Emiliano Zapata statue.
“Lots of us may be asking why the Governor is coming to inaugurate this statue. But this is not only a statue. This statue is a symbol of who we are, a symbol of our roots, a symbol to remind us what we left behind, at our homeland, after we left”, he said full of civic enthusiasm.
The Governor had, indeed, a tight schedule and in the morning he walked along Esat Lake Street, visited with some local business owners and had the chance to listen to his people and learn about their challenges, their issues and their needs.
Later, at 2:00PM, he opened the Migrant’s Affairs Office in Minneapolis, an office devoted to provide services to Morelenses living in the Twin Cities. The office is located at 19 26th Street, in south Minneapolis.
Finally, his visit finished with the inauguration of Emiliano Zapata’s statue, at 1855 E. Lake Street. The statue is scheduled to be located, permanently in a different location and will be moved when the location is granted.
During his speech, the Governor talked about the close bond between Morelenses and their homeland and efforts his government is making to strengthen those bonds, as well as the bonds with all Mexican nationals living in the US.
At the end of the interview, Francisco Maldonado said “The Governor is here to promote the Sister Cities program. We most understand that the cultural, social and economic exchange with Minnesota is very important for the Governor and this program is just the first step in the right direction. I feel this is the moment to break the ice and start working really close with our fellow Morelenses. The Governor is very excited about it and with the possibility of increasing the exchange with our fellow Morelenses in Minnesota”.