“We’re all one dream, one voice of hope, hope for tomorrow,

We’re all one life, one gift of love, one song forever

Sister Cities, Brother Nations, hand-in-hand celebration.

Sister Cities, Brother Countries; one peaceful world,

One human nation. Yes, we are one.”

—from “Sister Cities We are One,” music and lyrics by John Denver and Dik Darnell, recorded in 1986, the 30th anniversary of Sister Cities International

For the 48th consecutive year, Ashland and an official delegation from Guanajuato, Mexico, joined hands as Sister Cities to celebrate the Fourth of July together, only a few days after Ashlanders returned from Guanajuato’s summer festivals of La Presa de Olla and San Juan.

Led by Guanajuato festival Queen Maritere Dominguez Silva, the delegation began arriving on June 28 at the Rogue Valley International Airport. Host families and members of the Ashland Amigo Club greeted them.

Among the Guanajuato visitors were two municipal councilors (regidores), Ana Gabriela Cardenas Vazquez and Juan Carlos Delgado Zarate; two members of the Heroic Volunteer Fire Corps, Deputy Commander Daniel Barrera Vazquez and Officer Jorge Luis Anguiano Jasso; the mother of Queen Maritere, Maria Teresa Silva Andrade; the son of Councilor Delgado Zarate, Fabian Delgado Arredondo; and the daughter of Councilor Cardenas Vazquez, Margarita Cabeza de Vaca Cardenas.

“The hosting of the Guanajuato delegation at the Fourth of July celebrations was an enormous success due to the efforts of our members and friends,” Amigo Club President Betzabé “Mina” Turner said. “All this joy and support is what has kept us together for 48 years and looking forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary in 2019 of Sister City relations and the founding of the supportive Amigo Club.”

Their seven-day schedule of events was jam-packed with breakfasts hosted by Southern Oregon University, the city of Ashland and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and lunch offered by the Rotary Club of Ashland. They attended the Chamber of Commerce barbecue, toured the National Forensics Laboratory and city water treatment plant, saw “Beauty and the Beast” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, participated in an Amigo Club poetry recital and Fourth of July potluck at the home of Suzanne and Richard Haveman, traveled to Crater and Diamond lakes, and went sailing on Emigrant Lake on Sean Van Ausdall’s Hoby Cat.

On July 4, they rode in the Ashland Parade, attended bandshell ceremonies in Lithia Park and a poolside party at the home of Sheila and George Gleim with music provided by former Mayor John Morrison’s Rewind Band, and watched the city fireworks from the residence of Karen Grove and Jay Ach.

Ashland Receives Guanajuato Coat of Arms

The city of Guanajuato has delivered a replica of its coat of arms of 1741 to Ashland. The 4-foot-high, 3-foot-wide ceramic piece was made at a factory in Santa Rosa de Lima, a town within the Municipality of Guanajuato.

Guanajuato Councilor Cardenas Vazquez said the gift represented “gratitude to Ashland for its solidarity and appreciation,” most recently in the form of a gift ambulance from the Ashland Fire Department.

Mayor John Stromberg and his Guanajuato counterpart, Edgar Castro Cerrillo, will formally inaugurate the gift in 2019, the 50th anniversary of Sister City relations.

Romero Hicks Seeks Election as Mexican President

Mexican Sen. Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, who holds two master’s degrees from Southern Oregon University, is seeking nomination by the National Action Party, known by its acronym PAN, as its candidate for presidential elections in 2018. Romero Hicks, married to philanthropist Faffie Siekman, has adopted the campaign slogan “Mexico de Verdad.” He has been president of the University of Guanajuato and governor of the State of Guanajuato.

Amigo Club’s Entre Amigos (Between Friends) column about Ashland ties to its sister city Guanajuato, Mexico, appears on the third Tuesday of each month. Longtime AP reporter and bureau chief Kernan Turner is an Ashland resident and Amigo Club member.