By: Otila Gonzalez
Mr. John N. Bertsch, CFP, Chairman of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance reports on the accomplishments of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance as including a quarter of a billion dollars in the 22 Texas projects on the corridor either completed in 2013, under construction, or set for construction to begin 2014. Mexico has taken steps to initiate a $2.28 billion dollar Mazatlán-Durango highway project to provide a gateway from the Pacific Coast to connect with the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.
The 2013 construction projects on the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor include one project in South Dakota, two projects in Nebraska, ten projects in North Dakota, and twenty-two projects in Texas. The 22 Texas projects represent projects that extend from the Texas Panhandle all the way to Webb County and beyond. The report also lists the feasibility studies launched in Mexico and the U.S. for new bridges at Acuña/Del Rio as part of the expansion activities
With the federal transportation funding bill expiring on September 30 of this year, the PTP Alliance is working to ensure that the new transportation bill adequately funds the infrastructure needed for the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.
Local members of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance include the City of Del Rio, Val Verde County, Del Rio Area Development Foundation, Del Rio Chamber of Commerce, and our own Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Del Rio is scheduled to host the Annual Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference in October 2014.
My name is Michelle L. Guajardo, and I am honored to be the new Vice Chair of Cultural Events for the DRHCC.
I am a proprietor of Trinity Mortuary and a longtime educator. It is my goal to showcase the cultural diversity of our beautiful city throughout the year.
Here’s a little tidbit of New Year’s culture. Three Kings Day is an important holiday for Latin Americans.
In addition to the gift giving aspect of the day, there is culinary treat known as “Rosca de Reyes” (King’s Cake). This holiday dessert offers much in the way of symbolism, a round-shaped cake signifies the King’s crown. The sweet bread holds a special surprise, a small plastic figurine representing the baby Jesus. Whoever finds this token is obligated to host a party for the occasion for “Dia de la Calendaria” (Candlemas Day), which occurs each year on February 2.
As my Chair term comes to a close, I spent some time thinking about what DRHCC has accomplished in the past two years. For one thing, our efforts in promoting our small business with free weekly membership blasts, through the newsletter, and inserts, helped us earn the title of TAMACC’s Small Hispanic Chamber of the Year for 2012.
Our attendance and interest has grown at the monthly membership meetings because of excellent guest speakers who bring important information to our members and the community and also because everyone enjoys the meet and greet time held just before and after the meeting. I sincerely thank all the businesses who hosted us this past year.
Our very first Speed Networking event was a lot of fun and huge success. DRHCC Membership had only minutes to market their product or services to each other. It was a wonderful networking event that will be held again soon. I am very proud we had the opportunity to help provide airline support letters, grant support letter for the Whitehead Memorial Museum and provide input on the City’s Economic Development Task force. I enjoyed working with Blanca Larson and the folks of the Del Rio Chamber in dual ribbon cuttings, Candidate’s forum and most recently on the Washington delegation team.
I am excited about bringing a new event to our community. The DRHCC Fiesta Fun Ride and Claim to Fame Cook-off with a Charreada, bands, and wonderful entertainment lineup will bring the community together in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month and get us in the mood for Fiesta de Amistad. Food and Vendor booths are quickly selling out. The Claim to Fame cook-off features Menudo, Beef Fajitas, and Beans. How’s that for variety? I also had the pleasure of working with such a giving group of dedicated community leaders on the DRHCC board, that support our work in the community. I don’t say goodbye - as I wil remain on the Board in a different capacity. I look forward to continued progress in our community as DRHCC celebrates its 7 year anniversary in October.