County Officials Planning Trip to El Salvador In November
Montgomery County officials are expected to participate in a trip to Morazán, El Salvador, in November as part of the county’s Sister Cities program- a project that encourages “friendship, partnership and mutual cooperation through educational, cultural, social, economic, humanistic, and charitable exchanges between the people of Montgomery County and people from communities of other nations.”
County Council President George Leventhal shared in a memorandum that this is the second time a county delegation visits El Salvador.
“I am going back to ensure that the sister city partnership is working and benefits both Montgomery County and Morazan. I have visited El Salvador previously in 2009 and 2011 to see what can be done at the local level to protect democracy and stabilize community health to provide better outcomes in a community which has sent thousand of its residents to Montgomery County,” Leventhal wrote.
According to county documents, in 2011, County Executive Isiah Leggett, along with a delegation of 75 people, traveled to the town of San Francisco Gotera and signed the county’s first Sister City agreement. One of the top priorities of the Morazán committee has been to provide educational opportunities for students beyond high school. Three Montgomery College professors from the Global Humanities Institute traveled to Morazán in 2013 to offer technical assistance in forming a community college. The committee purchased ten computers for the start-up technical school. In partnership with nonprofit organizations and Hometown Associations, the committee has sent medical equipment and educational supplies including instruments for children to Morazán worth more than $20,000, as well as, a special project to build and rehab homes and ongoing delegation visits each summer.
The trip cost almost $2,000 per person, and each traveler pays for their own expense.
“The United States’ long-term best interest is for Latin American countries to develop better public health, safety, and economic infrastructure that will enable them to thrive and ensure peaceful and prosperous relation between them and us,” Leventhal wrote.
To learn more about the county’s Sister Cities program, click here.