Today we left sunny California for the financial and political center of Mexico: Mexico City. This 600-year old city is the oldest capitol city in the Americas and is one of the most populated cities in the world.
It sits 7,380 feet above sea level (more than a mile), and if you look up towards the horizon, past the skyscrapers, you can see that the city is cradled by majestic mountains and volcanoes. Two volcanoes in this mountain range, Popocatépetl (the smoking mountain) and Iztaccíhuatl (white woman), have inspired tales and art for centuries.
The delegation is staying at the JW Marriott hotel in the Polanco district, which is situated across Chapultepec Park, one of the largest public parks in the world. This area has been inhabited since pre-Hispanic times and was a retreat for Aztec rulers. The park in many ways is considered not just a green space, but a historic site as well.
Mexico City is in the middle of its rainy season, which is encapsulating everyone in lush greenery and especially is gifting us with beautiful forest views of Chapultepec—a welcome oasis to the California delegation.
After checking into our hotel rooms, we headed to the trade mission Welcome Reception. Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, was the night’s master of ceremonies, thanking the delegates for joining the trade mission and introducing the night’s speakers: Ambassador Wayne, who welcomed everyone to Mexico City; and Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
The Governor spoke for a few minutes, welcoming everyone to the trade mission, and asked everyone to prepare for topics on education, climate and culture, and to prepare for a very successful trade mission.
Senator President pro Tem-elect elect Kevin de León, Senator Ellen Corbett, Senator Lou Correa, Senator Ben Hueso, Assembly Delegation Leader Manuel Pérez, Assemblymember Luis Alejo, Assembly member Richard Bloom, Assemblymember Nora Campos, Assemblymember Rocky Chávez, Assemblymember Susan Eggman, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, Assemblymember Roger Hernández, Assemblymember Chris Holden, and Assemblymember Jose Medina joined the reception, which allowed delegates to formally meet each other for the first time.
Ambassador Carlos González Gutiérrez, consul general of Mexico in Sacramento, and a large group of consul generals from throughout California attended the welcome reception as well; including, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego Maria De Los Remedios Gomez Arnau, Consul General of Mexico in Oxnard Ana Berenice Díaz Ceballos Parada, Consul General of Mexico in San Jose Carlos Ponce Martinez, Consul General of Mexico in San Francisco Dr. Andres Roemer, and Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles Carlos Sada.
Also in attendance were members from the Governor’s cabinet:
- Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California;
- Mark Ghilarducci, Director of the Office of Emergency Services;
- Brian Kelly, Secretary of the Transportation Agency;
- Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, Chair of the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment;
- Dr. Mary Nichols, Chair of the Air Resources Board;
- Matthew Rodriquez, Secretary of the EPA;
- Karen Ross, Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture; and
- Michael Rossi, Senior Advisor for Jobs and Business.