By: Patricia Ann Talley, Editor, and Member of the Advisory Council of City Leaders for International Cities of Peace.
Mexico joins the world in celebration of the International Day of Peace on September 21. This year’s theme of “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” is especially meaningful given current national and world events. Several communities in Mexico join with the International Cities of Peace Organization to celebrate this date – acknowledging the achievements made, and recognizing the work yet to be done.
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Guerrero: The tourist community of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo (municipality of Zihuatanejo Jose Azueta) is located on the Pacific coast, just 2.5 hours by air from Houston, Texas. In 2010, the tourism industry, educational institutions, and community service groups joined together to plan and develop a peace education program combined with special events and tourist activities. In 2015, Zihuatanejo became Mexico’s first “Certified” International City of Peace following a model designed to help sustain the peace movement by connecting it with tourism. (See: Model for Sustainable Peace Building)
A delegation of the Zihuatanejo Peace Committee will go to the United Nations in New York to participate in the annual student commemoration of the International Day of Peace on September 21. Approximately 700 high school and college students from the USA and Canada will have an opportunity to attend the event at the UN Headquarters, along with youth participating via video-conference from other regions of the world. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also invited to address the students.
The Zihuatanejo Peace Delegation to the student commemoration at the UN include Wendy Carbajal Sotelo, Chairperson; Mercedes Calvo, First Lady of Governor-elect Hector Astudillo Flores of the State of Guerrero; Anahi Toledo, Public Relations and Youth Representative; and high-school student Eric Fernández Carbajal. While many Mexican students want to attend the UN celebration, obtaining visas to the USA is too costly and complicated for most. (See Related Articles below. )
Peace Day activities in Zihuatanejo include a Global Peace Feast at local restaurants and hotels, Media for Peace and Youth Rally at universities, and a Peace Ceremony at the city’s Peace Monument. For times and details, see: Mexico’s Independence Day, International Day of Peace and Other Events in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo – September 2015
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato (By: Robin Loving Rowland and Barbara Johnson): For the second consecutive year, San Miguel will celebrate the United National International Day of Peace with a four-day celebration – September 18-21 – that will stretch from outlying colonias (neighborhood) into the Central area with the theme of Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All!
Local events will be free to the public, and will be presented in English and/or Spanish. Sponsors of the peace events are: Allende la Cultura, Camino de la Paz, the City of San Miguel de Allende, Efecto Pigmalion, El Sindicato, Ojala Ninos, Rotary Clubs, Shelter Theatre, and Tianguis Organica San Miguel de Allende.
Activities will include Aikido, an anti-bullying presentation, art, sponsor exhibits, creating community through the development of vertical gardens from recycled materials, mandala making, massage, meditation, music, movies, mural making, peace education, poetry, Qigong, reiki, community building through soccer, Tai Chi, a Walk4Peace, a World Café, and yoga.
Setting up the Walk4Peace, organizer Michael Latriano quoted Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn, who was nominated by Martin Luther King for a Nobel Peace Prize, as saying, “Peace is something we can contemplate every day. Walking meditation is one of the ways to contemplate peace. Our Walk4Peace will generate the energy of peace and solidarity in San Miguel. Please join us by walking in mindful unity. Peace is the outcome.”
Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the TOSMA and Parque Allende locations. If you would like to volunteer, please attend the volunteer meeting Thursday, September 10, at 6:30 p.m. at Lolita’s restaurant, Salida a Celaya 52.
Click to download the Schedule of Events and Locations: Schedule of Peace Week Events in San Miguel – 2015 . For more information, contact: www.CaminoDeLaPaz.org, or www.facebook.com/CaminoDeLaPazSMA.
Mexico City, Tijuana, Baja California: Colibri Civic Association, headed by Marisa Patiño, is a collaboration of peace educators and activists from over twenty-three cities in Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador, Panama, and Argentina. In association with the UN, this group focuses on programs to prevent violence against children, the promotion of the rights of children and adolescents; and supports the equality of women in civic society and economics. To get information and details for peace activities in your city, contact: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Ixtapa Zihuatanejo and the surrounding areas, see: