Celebrating 200 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and Mexico
On Dec. 12, the Penn Museum hosted event celebrating this anniversary, partnering with the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center.
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December 12, 1822, marked the official start of diplomatic relations between the United States and Mexico.
Two hundred years later, that relationship remains and on Monday, December 12, 2022, the Penn Museum hosted a bicentennial anniversary celebration event in partnership with the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center.
Dr. Christopher Woods, the Williams Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, expressed that since joining in April 2021, one of his top priorities has been to connect the Museum’s work with the local community — including the local Mexican community
“The Museum’s connection to Mexico has its own deep, historic roots,” said Dr. Woods, noting that its first archaeological and ethnographic investigations began in the Yucatan in 1895.
Over the many years since, the museum has maintained Mexico’s prevalence as a central part of its mission to unearth and celebrate important parts of the human story.
At the event, Mayor Jim Kenney also provided remarks, highlighting the value and importance of this bilateral partnership between the two nations. This is in particular to the Mexican community’s prevalence in Philadelphia.
“Our city’s Mexican communities are active in all aspects of life in our city, from the officials of the city administration, and business leadership, to the arts and civic and economic development,” said Mayor Kenney.
In addition, he highlighted the commendable work done by the diplomatic representation of the Mexican government in the city.
In 1826, Philadelphia became the location where the second Mexican Consulate was established in the United States, a key to facilitating the growing commercial exchanged between both nations.
“Now, Mexico’s presence and vibrant community around the city — particularly in South Philadelphia — is thriving,” Mayor Kenney noted.
This is just one example of a diverse community coming into the United States, and making it their home.
For Carlos Obrador Garrido, the head Consul of Mexico in Philadelphia, the 200 year relationship between the United States anad Mexico has great meaning.
“This bilateral relationship has become a global record of cooperation and integration with some positive outcomes in the region,” he said.
“Our diplomatic relations directly influences the daily livelihoods of millions of Americans and Mexicans like no other,” the Consul added later on.
He closed his remarks by noting that the relationship between the two countries will be illustrated when Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador hosts President Joe Biden for a summit next year.
The event also featured remarks from Kristen de Paor, associate dean in the Office of Institutional Advancement at Penn; and Obed Arango, founder and executive director of the Centro de Cultura, Arte, Trabajo y Educación (CCATE) and lecturer at Penn’s School of Social Policy masters of social work program.
The ceremony ended with a performance by Mexican baritone Luis Ledesma, along with a student from the Academy of Vocal Arts and the Curtis Institute.
The Penn Museum event was the first of a series of events to celebrate 200 years of the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the United States. The Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia is also partnering with the Museum of the American Revolution, the Rosenbach Library and Museum, as well as UPenn, Temple, Drexel, and Saint Joseph’s University.
“We are very proud and excited to continue promoting the image of Mexico and our people in the region that has welcomed them with open arms to build a shared and prosperous future,” said Consul Obrador Garrido.