The mayor of Coachella was honored with the highest recognition given by the Mexican government inside the city council chambers on Sunday for his work with the migrant community.
Mayor Steven Hernandez was decorated with the “Ohtli Award”, the Aztec word “ohtli” means “path” and Ambassador Juan Carlos Mendoza on behave of the government of Mexico, recognized the paths the mayor has opened for the community in Coachella.
“We’ve been trying to represent our community as best as we can, and we’ve been trying to ensure that their rights are being addressed, or being fought for,” Hernandez said. “That they live in dignity that they have access to housing and work, transportation and medical services and at the same time have the opportunity to live the American dream.”
The award is given to people of Mexican descent who live in the United States and dedicate their professional lives to advance the quality of life of immigrants.
Ambassador Mendoza said he chose to attend the ceremony to experience the family oriented community that exists in Coachella, but also to recognize the working relationship among the two countries.
“Last year we trade more than $50 billion, Mexico is the first market for exportation in California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas,” Mendoza said. “In addition Mexico is the second or third market for the 33 states of the union, Mexico is very important for the United States.”
Mendoza added as the economy in the U.S. continues to grow, industries will continue to needs employees from across the boarder to meet the demand.
The City of Coachella continues to be a welcoming place for migrant workers, last year the city council voted unanimously to proclaim sanctuary city status, therefore limiting cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents. A status the Trump administration opposes.
“We need to remember what our values are and what we have stood for since the beginning of this country,” Hernandez said. “We have stood for people who want to live the American Dream, whether they are Mexican, Irish or Italian.”