Aurora, CO

Aurora may partner with El Salvadoran city

David Heitz

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Ilopango, El SalvadorCity of Aurora

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Aurora may become sister cities with Ilopango, El Salvador. Aurora already is home to an El Salvadoran consulate, the city’s first foreign office.

Aurora Sister Cities International and councilmember Juan Marcano will discuss the proposal at a study session Monday. The city already has active sister city partnerships with Seongnam, South Korea and Adama, Ethiopia. Aurora has non-active relationships with Jaco, Costa Rica, Zielona Gora, Poland and Antiguo Cuscatlan, El Salvador.

“El Salvador is in the process of making important changes in the areas of the economy, international trade, and security among others,” Ricardo Gambetta, manager of Office of International and Immigrant Affairs, and Assistant City Attorney Kimberly Skaggs wrote in a memo to City Council. “The new leadership in the country is pro-business/pro-trade and the official currency is U.S. dollars. There are some shared learning opportunities and great potential for both cities in the areas of youth exchanges, tourism, international trade and business, education, etc.”

Ilopango near San Salvador

Ilopango, population 135,703, is located 15 minutes from downtown San Salvador, El Salvador’s capital city. It is located within the same “department” as San Salvador. Departments are like counties in the United States.

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An aerial view of Ilopango, El Salvador.City of Aurora

The city is home to one of only two airports in the country. It also boasts a lake and some of the best surfing beaches in the world.

“There is a strong relationship and ties between Aurora and El Salvador thanks to the efforts of the Office of International and Immigrant Affairs and local Salvadoran organizations,” wrote Gambetta and Skaggs. “The best example of these joint efforts is the opening of the Consulate of El Salvador, our first diplomatic post in the city. In addition, the last three mayors of Aurora have traveled leading business delegations to El Salvador. All these efforts show a long-term and long-lasting commitment to fostering trade and business relations between Aurora and El Salvador.”

Exchanging information about infrastructure, cryptocurrency

Aurora could give Ilopango input on goals such as:

· Developing a financial and economic center.

· Increasing tourism development in Ilopango Lake.

· Creating a Central American Technological Center.

· Developing infrastructure.

While Ilopango can learn a lot from Aurora, it is by no means a one-way street. Ilopango, for example, uses cryptocurrency investments to fund city services. That is something Aurora could learn more about.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here.

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