Among a sea of green, white and red – along with mariachi music, folkloric dancers and Mexican food – Adriana González Carrillo, consul general of the Mexican Consulate in Fresno, used the Grito de la Independencia ceremony at Fresno City College to deliver a state of the consulate.
▪ The consulate, in its 92nd year of operation, handled more than 82,000 transactions, making it among the ten busiest of 53 Mexican consulates in the United States.
▪ In June, more than 35,000 people received a consular document.
▪ The consulate added a consular service for the LGBTQ+ community, which has resulted in 25 people receiving a passport or consular card with the name and gender with which they identify.
▪ For the first time ever, the Mexican consulate participated in the Rainbow Pride Parade in the Tower District.
“We are and will continue to work to make our service more efficient and for our support to reach those who need it most in the eight counties we serve,” said González Carrillo before several hundred guests who celebrated the Grito de la Independencia.
Reps. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, and David Valadao, R-Hanford, were among a slew of public officials who lauded the consulate’s work and delivered plaques or proclamations.
“We can’t overstate, quite frankly, the importance of relationships between the United States and México, and México and Fresno, which is why we declared this last year Guadalajara (Jalisco) as a sister city with Fresno,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer, who noted he sealed the deal by drinking tequila with Guadalajara representatives.
The mayor, who participated in the raising of the Mexican flag Friday morning at City Hall, acknowledged that Latinos, “the vast majority of those come from Mexican heritage,” are making their presence known.
“It is no wonder that we have so many people that fly out nightly to either León, Guadalajara or Morelia (in México),” said Dyer. “It is for that reason that we are expanding our airport, adding another terminal so that we can triple the capacity for international flights to México.”
Assemblymember Joaquín Arámbula said state legislators are aware of the role the Mexican consulate plays in the Valley.
“The work you do here is valued,” said Arámbula. “We see you, we hear you, and we’re grateful for you.”
McFarland Mayor Saúl Ayón said his city’s diverse population “includes a substantial and vibrant Mexican-American community whose culture, traditions and contributions enrich the lives of all residents.”
González Carrillo called the cooperation this year between México and Fresno “very intense.” That included a visit by fire department representatives from Guadalajara and Zapopán, and visits to México by the State Center Community College District that could result in an exchange of students and teachers.
Friday’s celebration – which included performances by Teocalli Cultural Academy and Mariachi Real Zapotiltic – was a chance to celebrate México’s independence with the community, said the consul.
“I hope you remember this day and enjoy the party that we have organized for you, the friends and allies of México.”