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Donning khakis and radios, astride bicycles, ATVs, and quads, the new Tourist Assistance Unit of Puerto Peñasco aims to benefit visitors by providing information, directions, and additional visibility in areas particularly frequented by tourists across Puerto Peñasco such as the malecón, Old Port, and area beaches. In addition, depending on times of the year and the city’s varied activities, they will surely be spotted all around town.
Accompanied by Sonoran Director of Regional Tourism and Cinematography René Raúl Valenzuela Beltrones, as well as Donna Whitman of the Tucson–Puerto Peñasco Sister Cities Committee, Puerto Peñasco Mayor Kiko Munro formally presented the new Assistance Unit on Friday, Feb. 26th at the Unit’s home base located on the west side of the Peñasco EXPO Convention Center.
The 16 men and four women sworn in as the initial Unidad de Auxiliar Turística (UAT…or TAU with English initials) group, under the leadership of Director Luis Molina, are bilingual and have received training in first-aid and self-defense techniques, along with courses encompassing the culture and history of the area. With these skills under their belt, members of TAU are tasked with the goal of providing both safety and useful information and guidance to tourists and residents alike. It is worth noting while the TAU falls under the larger scope of Civil Protection, their main goal is to provide assistance and warnings as needed – rather than tickets – and to call in back-up if required.
The event was also an opportunity for Munro to highlight the launch of a new Puerto Peñasco mobile app, which will also soon be available in English, where tourists and residents alike can review info about the city and have access to a “panic” feature that will directly link to emergency line 066 (or rather, 911). In addition, though not announced at the ceremony as it was being developed, the Mayor has established the Facebook site Mayor Kiko Munro as a source to share information with the community directly in English, which is a mirror to his Spanish site Kiko Munro.
With the objective of providing additional support and continuity for the TAU in Puerto Peñasco, Director Luis Molina explains an Advisory Committee has been created, which is made up of Mexican and American residents, along with Whitman of the Sister Cities project. Members of this committee at the moment include: Donna Whitman, Jim Ringquist, Mark Olszewski, Manny Sanchez, and Enrique Gaxiola. Others within the community of Puerto Peñasco have already expressed interest in being part of the Advisory Committee, whose role is both to serve as a liaison in providing input from tourists and residents, recommendations on how to improve the program, as well as to provide support through activities encompassing additional training as well as the possible donation of equipment or materials.
In a conversation prior to the inaugural ceremony, former Prescott (AZ) mayor and long-time Puerto Peñasco fan and honorary “peñasquense” Marlin Kuykendall expressed his pleasure with the creation of this Unit, adding this is wonderful news for the region in general and should help ease concerns people may have when considering travel to this city he now considers his home.
Home base: Peñasco EXPO Convention Center, Blvd. Rodger & Jeanette Clifton (road to “Rodeo” curios)
[goal to have additional bases in the malecón and near beach areas]
Office hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m
Tel: 382-8413 Emergency # 066
TAU Advisory Committee
City site: www.puertopenasco.gob.mx
Mayor’s Facebook sites:
(English) Mayor Kiko Munro
(Spanish) Kiko Munro