Hood River adopts Colotlán as Mexican sister city

August 31, 2005

After the Hood River City Council meeting next Monday, Hood River will be engaged in a sister city relationship with Colotlán, a city in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

This official arrangement comes after several months of an informal agreement between Hood River’s mayor, Linda Rouches, and Jose Luis Carrillo, the mayor of Colotlán.

“He proposed the idea during his first visit several months ago,” said Rouches. “The council has discussed it, and the only thing left to do is pass the resolution.”

Mayor Carrillo visited Hood River again last week, and this time he brought with him a letter that extended a formal offer to make Hood River and Colotlán sister cities. He and Rouches also exchanged gifts: he gave her a clock bearing an image of an ornamented leather saddle (something Colotlán is famous for); and she gave him a Hood River Valley souvenir hat.

Once the relationship becomes official, Mayors Carrillo and Rouches both have high hopes for the effects it will have on both cities. “I believe that it could be useful to establish relation[s] among our respective cities for many purposes, including exchange of students, so our kids can learn from each other’s language and culture,” said Carrillo in a letter to Rouches.

Rouches echoed that statement, saying that she is “eager for the first student exchange.”

It comes as no surprise that Carrillo would choose Hood River as a sister city — there are around 2,500 Colotlense emigrants living in Hood River. “He feels very connected to the area,” said Rouches.

During his visit, Mayor Carrillo had the chance to meet with many of his former citizens. “The Colotlán community was pretty excited to see him,” said Salvador Marquez, an employee of The Next Door, Inc., and president of Club Colotlense, a local club for immigrants from Colotlán.

The club hosted a dance last Saturday at the Expo Center to honor Mayor Carrillo’s stay. At the celebration, Lily se la Rosa was named the Reina Club (Queen of the Club) and crowned by Rouches. Carrillo was supposed to have performed the ceremony, but a problem with his flight arrangements called for him to leave early.

The candidates for queen were charged with selling tickets to the event — and whoever sold the most won. “A dollar counted as a vote,” Marquez said.

“Part of the money that was raised will go into a grant for kids to go to college,” he explained. “It will start out small, but as time goes on it will get bigger.”

Marquez also said that he had three main goals as the club’s president, and one was to establish a sister city program between the two cities, which, after Monday, will be a reality.

Rouches hopes that the cities’ relationship will not only provide opportunities for economic and student exchanges, but opportunities to learn about the other cultures, as well. “The more you get to know other people, the less chance there is for a conflict,” she said. “The sister city relationship with Tsuruta has been very successful, and the city looks forward to an equally successful relationship with Colotlán.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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