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OUR PARTNERS IN MORELIA
In August, a delegation of business leaders from Morelia were honored guests. While they were in Yakima; the Yakima-Morelia Sister City Association (Y-MSCA) facilitated meetings between the Morelia guests and representatives from ESD 105. They discussed the virtual reality project where the cities of Yakima and Morelia can exchange virtual experiences and share in each other’s celebrations, events, and local attractions virtually. They also discussed future student and teacher exchanges. They toured the Yakima Area Arboretum. They were invited to the Yakima Downtown Rotary luncheon. They met with Heritage University President, Dr. Andrew Sund and toured the campus. They were invited to meet with the Yakama Nation General Council members. These meetings were productive, and discussions were held regarding the importance of educating our citizens about the rich cultural heritage we all share.
In January, in collaboration with Cowiche Canyon Conservancy and the Yakima Symphony, the Y-MSCA sponsored a visit by entomologist, Dr. Javier Ponce Saavedra from the University of Michoacán to lecture on the migration of the Monarch butterfly. Later in the week the Yakima Symphony presented a concert “South of the Border” using the annual migration of the Monarch butterfly to represent the ongoing exchange of people, culture, and ideas throughout the Americas. In December we sponsored two Morelia firefighters “Bomberos” to come to Yakima and take possession of the decommissioned firetruck that the sister city had purchased from the city of Yakima. After the public ceremony, the two Bomberos accompanied the firetruck, loaded on a low boy hauler semitruck, from Yakima to Morelia.
In November Y-MSCA President, Noe Gutierrez and Y-MSCA Historian, Margaret Luera led a delegation to Morelia consisting of seven other Y-MSCA Board Members, Yakima City Councilwoman, Maureen Adkison, and local Yakima photographer, Efrain de la Torre. The main purpose of the visit was to take part in the annual Dia de los Muertos celebration in Morelia and the surrounding communities. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Purepecha town of Erongaricuaro during Noche de Muertos where our board member and Yakama Nation Legislative Liason, Matt Tomaskin was honored. During the visit the delegation also toured the Universidad Latina de America, the Morelia Fire Department, the State Police Station and met with the Mayor of Morelia. The delegation was also privileged to take part in the official Morelia City toast in celebration of Morelia being named a member of UNESCO Creative City Network.
In April Vice President Noé Gutierrez and Historian Margaret Luera led a delegation to Morelia comprised of Yakima City Mayor Alvina Guiterrez, Yakima City Council members Carmen Mendez and Dulcie Gutierrez, Capitol Theatre Director Charlie Robins and Larson Gallery Director David Lynx. The delegation visited the newly elected Mayor of Morelia, the newly elected Governor of Michoacán and other state and federal officials. Delegation members also met with officials of several smaller towns around Morelia, the Morelia Women’s Rotary Club and made connections with artists for future exchanges.
Y-MSCA once again partnered with the YVCC Latin Jazz Festival to bring musicians and renown muralist Jose Luis Soto to Yakima. The Morelia musicians joined the YVCC Latin Jazz band in performing several concerts and workshops for Yakima Valley students. They also performed at a free grand finale concert for the community at the Capitol Theatre. During the Festival Joe Luis Soto led an artist workshop for YVCC students and community members where the group created an acrylic mural and wrote a poem called “Yakima, Tierra Sagrada: “Yakima, Sacred Land.” A video of the mural project created by Efrain and Ana De La Torre of Yakima can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVbfud7NDjM
In March President Noé Gutierrez and Vice President David Blink led a musician delegation to Morelia. Eleven YVCC jazz students and faculty performed at several venues in and around Morelia. The delegation also comprised three film students and three faculty members of Central Washington University who filmed a documentary on the exchanges of musicians between Yakima and Morelia and the formation of the Yakima-Morelia Jazz All Stars.
In May several musicians from Morelia again came to Yakima to participate in the YVCC Latin Jazz Celebration and conduct workshops in local schools reaching over 6000 students.
In June several Y-MSCA board members and community leaders visited Morelia . The delegation met with the Rector of the University Latina de America, the Congress of Michoacán, the Mayor of Morelia, the Secretary of Culture, several businesses, a community center and The Woman’s Hospital.
In October a delegation from Morelia consisting of Dr. Rogelio Diaz, Dr. Ariadna Galvan and Maestro Gerardo Sanchez Lara visited Yakima to take part in Y-MSCA’s Día de Los Muertos Celebration. The delegates also met with Yakima community members and toured Pasco with a Pasco City Council member. The delegates also visited Seattle where they were hosted by several business leaders and members of the US Mexico Chamber of Commerce and the Mexican Consul. They also visited Olympia where they met the Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen and other State officials and toured the State Capitol.
Y-MSCA partnered with the Yakima Valley Community College Latin Jazz Festival to bring several Morelia musicians and artists to Yakima to participate in the festival. Morelia Maestro Juan Alzate and Choral Director Elizabeth Espejel of the University of Michoacán participated in student workshops at several Yakima schools and universities. Artist Javier Lopez Ortiz came to Yakima as an artist in residence and taught art to Valley students, teachers and community members.
Y-MSCA hosted a delegation from Morelia in May consisting of Morelia City officials, media representatives and musicians. The delegation attended a Yakima City Council meeting, toured and met with representatives of the Yakama Nation, Zillah Fire Department, Chilcren's Village, Yakima Specialties, Yakima Symphony, YVCC Vintners and Entrust Community Services. The visiting Morelia musicians took part in the YVCC Latin Music Celebration where they preformed at numerous concerts and conducted workshops in local schools. Also in May, sic Y-MSCA Board member traveled to Morelia for a special presentation at the 18th Annual Genesis Award Ceremony. Y-MSCA received the "Social Merit" award from the Genesis Council of Directors, a group of prestigious professionals from Michoacán, Mexico. The presentation of this award to an association outside of Mexico was a great honor.
In 2011 we had visitors from Morelia who were interested in both early childhood education and healthcare. Delegates visited organizations such as Ready by Five and Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinics. Y-MSCA also assisted in a visit from Morelia Rotarians who were here to work on the Yakima Dountown Rotary Club's Habitat for Humanity Project.
In November, the Yakima-Morelia Sister City (Y-MSCA) sponsored a delegation to Morelia to explore and evaluate possible relationships between the medical/health service communities of Yakima and Morelia. We also wanted to continue building interaction with Morelia in the areas of agriculture, art, music, education, law enforcement and firefighting. This delegation led by Juven Garcia included: Mr. & Mrs. Rick Linneweh-President of Memorial Hospital, Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Olivares-President of The Yakima Farm Workers Clinic, Steve Caffery-President of the Capital Theatre, Anne Caffery-President of the Memorial Foundation, Bertha Lopez from Memorial Hospital, Jorge Torres-Psychologist with the YFWC and officers of the Sister City Association. During this trip we visited several of the hospitals in Morelia, the dental school at the Universidad Latina de America, the Veterinary University, the National College of Technical Professional Education, the Center for Inicial Education of Morelia (similar to Yakima’s Children’s Village) and many other offices, farms, and churches. We were hosted at the Morelia City Hall by the mayor of Morelia, Fausto Vallejo Figueroa. It was a highly successful and productive delegation visit.