By: Patricia Ann Talley
There are many areas of crisis and conflict in our world today. There are many issues that can divide people: religion, culture, politics, economics, borders, etc. Now is not the time to sit back and be passive. If we want a world of peace, we have to work aggressively for it. We must take assertive actions to attain peace within our homes, within our local communities, between diverse cultures of people and with different nations – especially neighboring nations.
Over the past several years, the name “Mexico” has engendered many negative images of crime which has deterred some neighboring USA and Canadian tourists from visiting, even though crime is more prominent in many other areas of the world. In March 2010, our community of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo made an affirmative commitment to work towards creating a “Culture of Peace” to help counteract any negative images and to promote the positive attributes of our area. Funds were raised and we constructed a Peace Pole Monument which is located in Olof Palme Park next to the museum in Zihuatanejo. By doing so, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo joined over 250,000 other communities around the world that have constructed Peace Poles and made similar commitments to work together in peace-building activities.
During 2010 and 2011, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo sponsored and participated in many different cultural events and educational exchange programs to promote the positive attributes of our area and people. Schools and community members celebrated the United Nations International Day of Peace and Ixtapa Zihuatanejo sent an international delegation to Southfield, Michigan, USA to participate in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Walk in January of 2011.
On November 14-17, 2011, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo will host “Festival de La Paz” (Peace) to re-dedicate and celebrate our commitment to work towards peace and to recognize the many international groups and organizations that participated in peace-building activities with our community over the past year. The Peace Festival will be celebrated in November rather than in September, which is the UN International Peace Day, to avoid the rainy season.
The week will start with various tours and activities for visitors and travelers. We want tourists to our area to experience the natural beauty and the hospitality of our community. Activities will also include visits to local schools and universities so that our local youth can have the experience of interacting and talking to tourists.
The grand Festival de La Paz celebration will be on Thursday, November 17th. Festivities begin with at 5:30 p.m. with a Peace Walk from our Peace Pole Monument in Olof Palme Park, next to the museum in Zihuatanejo, to the Cancha Municipal, where we will have a celebration with music, art and dance. Wear white!
Everyone is invited! Please join us for a wonderful evening of exciting and educational cultural exchange and celebration for world peace. For more information, visit: www.imagine-mexico.com or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org