The day started at 3:30am when the St. Peter delegation that is traveling to Petatlán left St. Peter and headed to the St. Paul International Airport. Having safely arrived at the airport thanks to the Gustavus Community Service Center’s very own Vince Miller, we embarked on our next challenge: surviving the 10 hour plane/airport day that we had ahead of us. After dealing with multiple gate changes, an entire airline change, a few pretty rough patches of turbulence, and a rather rushed lunch, I can safely say that the painfully slow line to get through Mexican Customs was not all that exciting. Until…out of nowhere we were pulled to the side and expedited to the front of the line. We discovered this to be the first of many surprises provided by our hosts in Peatalán.
Immediately after clearing customs we were greeted by an army of Sister City Initiative supporters. With news cameras flashing, giant welcome banners waving, flower bouquets being placed in our arms, and dozens of smiling faces staring in our general direction, our delegation was (to say the least ) blown away by the welcome we received. The municipality president, Jose Lacunza, and his wife personally greeted us and immediately escorted us from the airport to a very intimate dinner with the heads of all of the areas of coordination for their Sister City Committee.
Being seated at a long table overlooking “La Barrita” beach with a band that was cued upon our exact arrival, we spent the next few hours with President Lacunza, his wife and the rest of the local government officials and area coordinators for the Sister City Initiative. It was an occasion of introducing everyone to their counterparts of the opposite city, and a way for us to relax after having spent the majority of our Saturday traveling.
Below you will find some of the photos of the above-mentioned events.