Aurora, CO

El Salvadoran sister city wins initial approval in Aurora

David Heitz

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Ilopango, El Salvdaor.City of Aurora

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Aurora, Colo.) The Aurora City Council agreed Monday during a study session to advance establishing a sister city in El Salvador.

The council will vote formally next week on forging a relationship with Ilopango, El Salvador. Mayor Mike Coffman, who visited El Salvador last year on a city-sponsored trip with councilmembers Juan Marcano and Alison Coombs, said he firmly supports the alliance. “It makes perfect sense to me to move forward this,” the mayor said. Nobody objected to moving the item to the next council meeting.

“I believe fundamentally that we ought to focus our sister city relationships on countries from which we have a significant immigrant population,” Coffman said. The city’s immigrant communities in order of size are Mexican, Ethiopian, El Salvadoran, and Korean.

Mayor Pro Tem Bergan wanted clarification on a previous relationship the city had with the Salvadoran city of Antiguo Cuscatlan. Karlyn Shorb, head of Aurora Sister Cities International, told her that relationship basically dissolved after that Salvadoran city seemed to lose interest.

Shorp said Ilopango’s leadership is “very motivated” to become sister cities with Aurora. Bergan also wanted to know whether the relationship will cost Aurora anything. Shorb said it will not.

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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