Mayor Justin Elicker meets with Mexican Governor of Tlaxcala and institutes Tlaxcala Friendship Day
Government officials from New Haven and Tlaxcala celebrated April 19 as Tlaxcala’s first Friendship Day and opened a mobile consulate to provide social services to Mexican residents in the New Haven area.
William Porayouw, collaborating photographer
On Tuesday, the City of New Haven designated April 19 as Tlaxcala Friendship Day in a ceremony with New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and Tlaxcala Governor, México Lorena Cuellar Cisneros.
The event – which took place at the New Haven Free Public Library, or NHFPL – was intended to highlight New Haven’s appreciation for the contributions of the citizens of Tlaxcala and the desire to foster an ongoing collaborative working relationship with the State. The city will see the establishment of a Mobile Consulate, which will provide economic opportunities, social services and Tlaxcala government resources to New Haven residents. The city plans to have the Mobile Consulate inside the NHFPL through Friday, but aims to make it monthly.
“New Haven is still a place that reflects the values that I hold dear to the people of Tlaxcalan,” Elicker said. “[Tlaxcala is] the home of thousands of members of our community. And it’s also the source of a lot of the culture, festivals, food and traditions that we experience here in New Haven thanks to the work of so many of our partners like [Unidad Latina en Acción] and other community members who elevate Mexican culture, but bring it here to New Haven and in many ways integrate it into New Haven culture.
This visit was the result of a 15-year relationship between the city of New Haven and the Mexican state of Tlaxcala. The relationship began when 10 women from an indigenous community in San Francisco Tetlanohcan, Tlaxcala, came to New Haven as cultural ambassadors, according to Marco Castillo, who is an adviser to Cisneros. While New Haven’s sister city San Francisco has celebrated several festivals, events and exchanges since then, Tuesday’s meeting between the two government officials signifies an evolution of that relationship – which has grown to the state level. .
In his speech, Mayor Elicker noted that the City of New Haven hopes to strengthen its ties with Tlaxcala State through “economic opportunity” and “social and government services.”
At the mobile consulate, people of Mexican nationality will be able to obtain passports, consular identity cards and birth certificates. Additional services include notary services and legal advice.
“As governor of Tlaxcala, one of my main missions is to create more jobs for [our] people,” Cisneros said. “But I also recognize that there are people who have already migrated before me, and so that’s what we’re here to make sure – that they have access to all the documents they need and the opportunities that we can give them.”
Cisneros praised the skills and talent of Tlaxcalan residents, especially those who moved to New Haven over the past decade. She said a victory for one person from Tlaxcala was a victory for everyone in the community.
The partnership was not only the work of government officials, but also that of Unidad Latina en Acción, or ULA, a grassroots activist organization in New Haven.
Nayeli Garcia, a community organizer from Tlaxcalan for ULA, described to the News how the group’s contributions came about.
A few months ago, she said, a representative of Governor Cisneros visited Mayor Elicker in New Haven. ULA organizers had the opportunity to speak with the two officials about promoting a friendship between the state of Tlaxcala and establishing a mobile consulate for Mexican Americans in the city. After the meeting, Elicker endorsed the partnership – paving the way for the governor’s visit and the establishment of the mobile consulate.
Garcia expressed his desire for the mobile consulate to operate monthly and remotely, with opportunities for Mexican-Americans throughout the New Haven area to file documents and receive identification to visit Mexico and reunite families. .
“There are many people who have not seen their parents [for] maybe 20 years or more,” Garcia said. “We hope to reunite…their families just to see them one more time.”
Luis Chavez-Brumell, who is deputy director of the NHFPL, hailed the partnership at the library – describing how his own Mexican heritage and growing up in New Haven inspired him to find a sense of “home away from home”. self”.
“We’re open to everyone,” Chavez-Brumell said. “And we are happy to be able to [support] the community in this way.
He reminded the public that the mobile consulate will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and that the library has additional support for the city’s Spanish-speaking community, including books, resources and Spanish-speaking staff.
Unidad Latina en Acción will organize a march on the New Haven Green for immigrants and workers’ rights on May 1.