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City celebrates 170 years of Mexican Consulate

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Representatives from two worlds met this week to celebrate the National Day of Mexico, and the relationship between New Mexico and its southern neighbors.

Chocolate-dipped churros and fruit kebabs covered in chili powder lined one wall of the Albuquerque Museum lobby Wednesday evening as two guitarists tickled their instruments on an adjacent stage.

Wednesday’s event promoted a panel discussion that will take place Monday in the University of New Mexico’s Student Union Buildling. Starting at 5:30 p.m. in Lobo Rooms A and B, three panelists will talk about the consular presence in New Mexico, the protections offered to families in both countries, and policies implemented throughout the consulate’s history that have promoted empowerment of immigrants and their families.

“Today more than ever the border we share has united us,” General Consul Norma Ang Sánchez said.

On Sept. 18, 1849, a year after the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo officially split Mexico from New Mexico, the Mexican senate decided to open a consulate in the now U.S. state to provide assistance and protection to Mexicans there.

Sánchez said 170 years later the Mexican Consulate maintains the same commitment to offer guidance and support to the Mexican and Mexican-American community in New Mexico.

She touted the friendship between the two countries and the accomplishments made over almost two centuries.

“Our relationship’s greatest heritage over the last 170 years has been and continues to be comprised of the binational, bicultural, bilingual, and even cross-border families,” Sánchez said.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller also spoke to the small crowd at the museum, promoting unity and community.

“The fact that we are celebrating 170 years, that is a very special thing,” Keller said. “Having the consulate her is a very special thing.”

He said the Monday visit from President Donald Trump gave the city an opportunity to “have a little bit of fun,” and wish a happy birthday to Mexico. Monday was Mexico’s Independence Day.

“We try and honor that respect by re-establishing bridges as opposed to building walls,” Keller said.