The public is invited to a community reception for Mexican Consul Alberto Fierro Garza, in order to introduce him to Montevideo and the surrounding area, and help him meet the Mexican population in the community.
"He expressed interest in having contact with the Mexican population here," said Montevideo City Manager Steve Jones.
The idea was first mentioned in a meeting between Jones, Montevideo's community development director, Angie Steinbach, and Samuel Verdeja, president of Semillas and Associates, a company which helps build cooperative partnerships. Verdeja is an active leader in connecting latinos with their communities.
"The idea sort of came from two directions. I was talking with Jones and Steinbach, and we were talking about the new Mexican consul as a result of the new president in Mexico. We said, 'Wouldn't it be great if the city officials here could meet the consul,'" Verdeja said. "Later, I was in St. Paul and I met with him (Consul Fierro) and he said, 'Sam, I'm new, I don't know the community, I need help making contacts in rural Minnesota."
It is one of the duties of Consul Fierro to make contact with Mexicans living in Minnesota and in the midwest, and help them be sure they have the proper, legal paperwork, and help them be able to succeed. Traditionally, to do this job, the consul will focus on larger communities, such as those in Marshall, Willmar and Albert Lea, but Verdeja and Consul Fierro discussed the need to visit communities in-between as well.
"I explained to him about Montevideo, and he said that if there was a Mexican community in Montevideo, he wanted to meet them," Verdeja said. "He is going to Montevideo to be able to meet the Mexican community, and to meet the city officials of Montevideo."
The reception is being held on Friday, Aug. 9, at 4:30 p.m. at El Paraiso Latino Restaurant in downtown Montevideo.