Mérida, Yucatán — The U.S. ambassador to Mexico visited Yucatan’s capital, meeting with not only the mayor but several expats living here and contributing to the city’s cultural life.
Ambassador Christopher Landau was received by Mayor Renán Barrera Concha at the Municipal Palace, accompanied by Courtney Beale, U.S. consul in Merida, on his first trip to the city. Landau began his post Aug. 16.
Gov. Mauricio Vila led the diplomat on a tour of the government palace, noting that an estimated 10,000 U.S. citizens live in the city, many restoring homes in the historic center.
The governor reminded Landau that 200,000 Yucatecans live in the U.S. especially in San Francisco, sending remittances that are important to the economy here. Moreover, 60% of Yucatan’s exports go to the U.S., “our main trading partner,” said Vila.
Municipal authorities learned more about the lifestyle American enjoy in Merida, as well as their contributions to society.
A roundtable with the diplomat included Adele Aguirre, owner of SoHo Galleries; Kimberly Davin DeGraff, also known as Kimmy Suki, director of Yucatán Giving Outreach; Travis Gordon, a volunteer at Agustín O’Horan Hospital; Greg Casini, president of Merida English Library; Chris Pearson, director of the Madison International School and Stephanie Carmon, editor of MID CityBeat.
“This is a city where you can fully enjoy the warmth of its people and the beauty of its architectural buildings, which makes it exceptional in the eyes of the world,” Landau said.
Also attending were Irving Berlin Villafaña and Eduardo Seijo Solís, directors of Culture and Economic and Tourism Development of the City of Mérida, respectively, and Zazil G. Canto Ureña, director of the Office of Management of the Historic Center.