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By Shandra Keesecker-Rivero
The wind is beginning to blow in favor of Puerto Peñasco… – Mayor Figueroa Zazueta
Traditionally, Mexican Independence Day festivities on September 16th include formal parades throughout many city plazas. September 16th is further recognized in every corner of the country with street names commemorating this important date in Mexico’s history, often times becoming the parade route itself. While these military Independence Day parades are commonplace, with the principal one marching through the enormous zócalo in Mexico City, here in Puerto Peñasco September 16th generally represents when the Mayor presents his yearly address.
Following an evening of festive Independence Day traditions and the yearly Grito, on September 16th Mayor Gerardo Figueroa Zazueta was joined by Puerto Peñasco’s City Council, cabinet members, family, invited guests from various levels of government, the press, and a broad part of the local community to hear about accomplishments from Mayor Figueroa’s first year in office.
This year’s Mayoral Address, which took place at Peñasco del Sol, included points examining road conditions and paving projects, trash pick-up (with mention of local groups that have formed on their own to address this problem), outstanding debt payments, normalizing of land impacting Puerto Peñasco’s fishing sector, activities at community centers, education concerns, sports and athletics, youth, older seniors, cultural programs (including a possible School for the Arts here in Puerto Peñasco), and tourism, among others.
One of the areas drawing the most applause was when Mayor Figueroa discussed work of the local Office on Integral Family Development (DIF), whose President is Peñasco’s First Lady Rafaela Félix de Figueroa. The hemodialysis project of the DIF, stated the Mayor, is on firm ground and the goal is to have appropriate facilities completed soon.
In turning to other areas, the Mayor highlighted, “This year, we are witnesses to the reactivation of tourism. There is better occupancy; real estate sales are beginning to revive. The wind is beginning to blow in favor of Puerto Peñasco after difficult times, and after going against the current. This is why we must work on sustainable frameworks that allow us to confront high and low cycles, thinking and acting as part of a regional economy that includes our state, but also the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Baja California, and Chihuahua, principally for tourism but that may be broadened into other opportunities…”
Accompanied by Javier Tapia Camou, Coordinator of the State Commission for the Promotion of Tourism (COFETUR), Mayor Figueroa expressed 2013-2014 will be years marking the beginning of the Home Port and the operation of the Convention Center, which will help tremendously in boosting tourism to the area.
In closing out his first Mayoral Address, Mayor Figueroa reiterated the call he had made just the night before, exclaiming ¡Qué Viva Mexico! ¡Qué Viva Sonora! y ¡Qué Viva Puerto Peñasco!