First Lady of Honduras visits McAllen and the Valley

    7
    L-R: Sandra Darling; First Lady of Honduras Ana Garcia de Hernandez; McAllen Mayor Jim Darling; and Laura Warren, AIA and also Chairman of McAllen Economic Development Corp. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
    L-R: Sandra Darling; First Lady of Honduras Ana Garcia de Hernandez; McAllen Mayor Jim Darling; and Laura Warren, AIA and also Chairman of McAllen Economic Development Corp. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

    Mega Doctor News

    By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

    This has been a dynamic year for McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley as we have been favored with special visitors. Ana Garcia de Hernandez, the First Lady of Honduras visited McAllen for the second time. The motive of her visit was to tour the area where many families that have fled Honduras are detained in shelters all along the U. S. – Mexico border.

    Since October 2013, more than 52,000 children, mainly from Central America, have been apprehended at the U. S. – Mexico border. There is a possibility that another 38,000 will arrive by the end of 2018.

    The factors surrounding the exodus are multiple and among them are gang violence, enduring poverty, and drug trafficking.  That is why children, even as young as three years old, are making the trip to the United States. It is a 1,500-mile odyssey, they are making from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, the countries that make the Northern Triangle.

    That didn’t stop McAllen Mayor Jim Darling and Steve Ahlenius, president and CEO of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. They welcomed the First Lady of Honduras with a reception, making sure to let her know that McAllen is a friend to Honduras.

    - Click on this ad for a new STC offer -

    “Thank you, Mrs. Ana Garcia de Hernandez, for honoring us with your presence today.” Mayor Darling said, “This is your second visit to McAllen if I’m not mistaken.”

    Mayor continued saying, “You are here because of serious business important for your country and our country and especially our city. We are in the unique position with immigration and people seeking asylum. We are the entry point for almost all of the children, unaccompanied children, and families coming across to the United States.”

    “I would like to thank you for all your attentions and above all, to thank the Mayor and all the Commissioners for that friendly and solidary helping hand they have provided to our fellow countrymen through all these years.” First Lady of Honduras Ana Garcia de Hernandez

    As he finished welcoming the First Lady of Honduras, Mayor Darling also said, “We know it means a lot to your people that are here, that you’re here with them, so we also thank you for that. Our mission is that when people come to our country we treat them with honor, with respect, with dignity, no matter how they come here. That’s our goal and our mission, so we’ll continue to do that, and hopefully, once that is reached out, we’ll continue to have a mutual relationship with your Country and someday we can take a delegation down there to endorse and enjoy your country.”

    The McAllen Chamber of Commerce was responsible to reach out to the Honduran delegation and hosted a small but significant encounter at the Old House Winery on North Main Street. McAllen Mayor Darling and the City

    Commissioners shared the bread and salt with the First Lady and her delegation from Honduras.

    The First Lady Ana said, “Mr. Mayor, thank you for all your attentions and your wife, too, and commissioners. It’s a pleasure to share this afternoon with you and I would like to thank you for all your attentions and above all, to thank the Mayor and all the Commissioners for that friendly and solidary helping hand they have provided to our fellow countrymen through all these years.”

    She said, “In 2014, I had the opportunity to be here in McAllen and felt that support from you as authority. I come here four years later, and I feel that same support to our fellow countrymen.”

    She said that they really dream of a prosperous Honduras, at peace and with a lot of opportunities. “These last four years have allowed us to build a new road where now insecurity has lowered. In four years, the crime rate has come down 40 points, we’ve seen new job opportunities and better life conditions. But migration is a human right. It’s something that when a family has thought about it, you can try to convince them to do otherwise, but you won’t succeed. Today we can see how those numbers have increased, how families not only from Honduras but from all the Central America north triangle, they look for better opportunities.  In most cases, they want to relocate with their families in the United States.” She said, “So we understand that this is a situation that is going to keep happening and, beforehand we appreciate and thank you for the support.”

    She pointed out that they are working in Honduras, and that her husband had talked with Vice President Mike Pence in Guatemala about making the Central American region stable and successful countries.