The Sister Cities Association of Prescott Celebrates Five Decades of Citizen Diplomacy with Sister City Heroica Caborca, Mexico
On August 14, 1972, Prescott Mayor Taylor Hicks signed Resolution No. 727, establishing a formal relationship between the City of Prescott and Heroica Caborca, in Sonora, Mexico.
The Sister City Association of Prescott was born, linking these two communities which share a history of ranching, mining, and agriculture. This year, the Association celebrates its 50th anniversary.
“I never imagined it would last this long,” said Tony Martinez, the first elected chairperson, since many Sister City relationships fall by the wayside.
Attendees of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1956 conference on citizen diplomacy created Sister Cities International. President Eisenhower believed that increasing the understanding between people of different countries could help to prevent future wars.
For the past 50 years, those from Prescott and Caborca have practiced that diplomacy through quarterly reciprocal visits, along with educational, art, and music exchange programs, language immersion opportunities, and multiple “acts of kindness.”
About the popular exchanges, Sukey Jones, chair of the Anniversary Celebration Committee and past chairperson, explained, “These visits allow participants to get to know the people of Mexico beyond a purely ‘touristic’ way, staying in their homes, eating local food, dancing to mariachi on their patios, seeing and better understanding the local economy.”
Especially important are the opportunities for “acts of kindness.” Over the past five decades, the people of Prescott have sent to Caborca school desks, bikes, police and sports uniforms, firetrucks, ambulances, defibrillators, a mammogram machine, library books, school supplies, 50 cases of milk of magnesia, and more.
One of the most popular acts of kindness: working on many levels with “Casa Hogar,” a Caborca orphanage. Through fundraising efforts, the Sister City Association of Prescott sent $1,000 in July to help with much-needed bathroom upgrades.
A special focus for 2022: building relationships with other organizations, reaching out to businesses, and finding something to celebrate each month. Monthly events have included the annual April visit to Caborca, a public Cinco de Mayo event, the June Viewery exhibit in the Prescott Public Library, a float in the July Rodeo Parade featuring visitors from Caborca, and an August potluck with members and friends. The Gala, bringing together the mayors of both cities and the Counsel General of Mexico, took place in September, as did the Hispanic Heritage Month event, “Hola Prescott!” Members look forward to their November visit to Caborca for the 50th Anniversary celebration there, and December brings our amigos back to Prescott.
Come join this vibrant group as it heads full steam ahead into its next fifty years!