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Press Releases 08

Embassy Launches Second Virtual Presence Post in Mexico

Statement by Ambassador Antonio O. Garza

Mexico City, December 10, 2008 – “Today in San Cristobal de las Casas, on behalf of the United States Embassy, Deputy Chief of Mission Leslie Bassett launched a new Virtual Presence Post (VPP) to promote interaction between the people of Chiapas and Tabasco and those of the United States. Our goal is to achieve many of the benefits of a full-time United States physical diplomatic presence by utilizing new communication technologies, along with our traditional outreach efforts, in order to deepen our engagement with these states.

“Chiapas and Tabasco were chosen for the VPP because of the important links between these two states and the U.S. Many Americans make this beautiful region their home. USAID and the Peace Corps are actively promoting economic development in the region. More than 60 USAID/TIES (Training, Internships, Exchanges, and Scholarships) graduates live in this area, teaching children, working with farmers, and giving back to their communities. And during the 2007 floods, the United States donated over $2 million to help Tabasco and Chiapas recover from the devastation.

“As part of the VPP launch, Deputy Chief of Mission Bassett and other embassy officers met with American citizens, local officials, and community members. They met with Alternativa Solidaria Chiapas (AlSol), a USAID-supported micro-finance organization for indigenous women. They also talked to tour operators at Senda Sur, an information and reservation center, also supported by USAID, that promotes tourism to indigenous communities. And they donated children’s books to Sueniños, an after-school program for disadvantaged children.

“The VPP has information about Embassy events and activities in the area, articles about the residents of Chiapas and Tabasco – both Mexican and American – tips for students and businesses, and information about American citizen services, travel and visas. We hope you will visit it online and contact the Principal Officer via e-mail with your ideas and questions. The website is: http://chiapas-tabasco.usvpp.gov.”


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