Published June 17, 2003
Volume 11, Number 6

Tulancingo Sister City Organization Celebrates 20th Anniversary
In April, the Pleasanton delegation received a warm welcome in Tulancingo.

Improving understanding and appreciation between communities and fostering the interchange of ideas, cultural heritage, language, and mutual respect are the admirable goals that Pleasanton’s Tulancingo Sister City Organization has worked to fulfill for the past 20 years. To celebrate its anniversary, 40 members of the Pleasanton Delegation visited its Sister City in Tulancingo Mexico April 4th – 9th. A welcome dinner attended by over 150 of the Tulancingo delegation was held for the visitors from Pleasanton, and throughout the five days, members of the Pleasanton delegation visited numerous local organizations and venues that included the Rotary Club, Soroptimists, Lions Club, Tulancingo Fire Station, and City Hall. On September 17th – 22nd, 40 representatives from the Tulancingo delegation will be visiting Pleasanton.

“Our first contact with Tulancingo Mexico was 1983 and we were proclaimed sister cities in 1994,” says Bob Athenour, president emeritus and a founding member of the Tulancingo Sister City Organization. “The purpose of it was to develop better understanding between our two peoples and create goodwill. It’s been a very active organization in Pleasanton and it continues to grow.”

On its 20th anniversary visit to Tulancingo, the delegation visited the new Chabelo Center, to which the Pleasanton Sister City Organization has donated financial and moral support over the past years. Chabelo is Tulancingo’s center for neurologically handicapped youth. A special visit was also made to Asilo San Jose, a local orphanage housing over 30 girls ranging from the ages of 5–15.

Pleasanton’s Tulancingo Sister City Organization has a history of providing aid to its friends in Mexico and is joined in this effort by other local civic groups. This month, Athenour and members of the Pleasanton and Pleasanton North Rotary Clubs visited Mexico to donate 240 wheelchairs to Tulancingo and 280 to Oaxaca. “It’s amazing how many people, especially out in poor areas, have no mobility,” Athenour says. “It’s a sad story but there’s a tremendous need.”

For the past 19 years, members of the Sister Cities have also engaged in a student exchange program. Every year, five students from Tulancingo come and stay with families in Pleasanton and five students from Pleasanton go to Tulancingo. So far, about 200 children from both cities who have participated in the annual four week program.

The Tulancingo Sister City Organization has one local fundraiser each year that combines a barbecue, dance, and auction. This year, it’s slated for August 2 at the Fairgrounds. “We’ve been presenting our annual fundraiser for 18 years,” Athenour says. “It’s very well known here in the community, and we like to get the word out so people can mark their calendars.” The Tulancingo Sister City Organization is always interested in welcoming new members who are interested in Hispanic culture. For more information about the organization, call Bob Athenour at 925-846-2966.


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