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44 years: Sister city tradition lives on

AHS students to visit Guanajuato
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Katie Schammel, left, and Victoria Lawton-Diez pose with Ashland Mayor John Stromberg. The two Ashlnad High School juniors will visit Ashland’s sister city, Guanajuato, on Wednesday.
 Posted: 2:00 AM June 11, 2013

Two Ashland High School juniors will travel this week to Guanajuato, Mexico, continuing 44 years of exchanges between the U.S. and Mexican sister cities.

Victoria Lawton-Diez and Katie Schammel will be joined on the trip by Ashland Fire Chief John Karns and Graciela Magdalena Tapp-Kocks, known in Ashland and Guanajuato as Señora Chela.

The students and adults will represent Ashland during La Presa de la Olla, a 200-year-old celebration in Guanajuato. The celebration marks the beginning of the rainy season in the area, which is heavily dependent on agriculture for jobs. The Ashland contingent will participate in fairs, concerts, exhibits and parades, among other functions.

A release from Ashland Mayor John Stromberg praised the sister city relationship and the two local students.

"They are keeping alive, and renewing, a relationship of more than 40 years between our small jewel of a creative town and an eight-times larger ... city known as the birthplace of the democracy movement in Mexico," Stromberg said in the release.

The Ashland contingent will leave Wednesday and return June 24. Representatives from Guanajuato will visit Ashland this summer and participate in the city's July 4 celebration, among other events.

The Ashland-Guanajuato sister city relationship began in 1969.

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