Mexican Official Promotes More Communication

IF IT'S TUESDAY, IT MUST BE ROTARY CLUB OF NEW YORK By Shelia Washington (Visiting Rotarian from San Diego, California)

It was Tuesday March 14, 2006 MEXICO DAY

The Mariachis with Rotarian Rosario "Charo" De Pretti singing along provided the musical atmosphere for a festive luncheon. After the Mexican and the US National Anthems and Invocation, President Bill Currie welcomed all to the first Mexico Day. An excellent Ensalada Tehnana (salad) wetted our appetite for the sumptuous Mexican lunch catered by Café Frida.

It was also the day to award two students with scholarships. The award citations for Ms. Alendi Vidal and Ms. Elizabeth Rozon showed accomplished students with well-rounded civic and academic lives. They were accompanied to the stage by Deputy Consul General of Mexico Francisco Javier Diaz de Leon.

A raffle for round trip tickets to Mexico City and dinner for two at Café Frida added to the festivities. The proceeds go to --?--

At first glance it was easy to expect a standard Chamber of Commerce speech from the keynote Speaker, Ambassador Eduardo Ramos Gomez. He is President of the U.S. Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Region, and formerly Ambassador to Singapore.
However, Ambassador Gomez gave one of the most thoughtful speeches on the Mexico/US relations and the North American family of nations. It was good to be reminded that Mexico is the second largest trading partner of the US.
He highlighted four issues: Water, health/Aids, energy and emigration while emphasing the need for a focus on health issues. He pointed out that since 9/11, Mexico/NAFTA have been left dangling and Latin America in general with a leadership vacuum. In addition, the child, NAFTA who is more than ten years old is unattended in its adolescence. What's the next phase to fulfill the promise for the North American family of US, Mexico and Canada as conceived by the creation of NAFTA was the plea.

In a quiet but compelling voice, Ambassador Gomez expressed puzzlement as to why the nations were not sitting down to talks about our common goals and common problems. However, he left us with a sense of confidence that the underlying strengths of the North American relationship, experience and wisdom, will win out.

Mexico Day 2006 was festive and most enjoyable even as it provides much food for thought.