Mérida, Yucatán — The city honored a long friendship by renaming a stretch of road in the Altabrisa neighborhood as Avenida República de Corea, or Republic of Korea Avenue.
During the unveiling of the ceremony commemorative plaque, Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal hailed Mérida’s close relationship with Korea.
Korean Ambassador Chun Bee Hoo was an honored guest of the ceremony, as were members of the Korean community.
Formerly Calle 7 de Altabrisa, la Avenida República de Corea runs between the Monument to the Haciendas and the Periférico.
The relationship between Merida and Korea dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when it was the first Mexican city to receive the first 1,033 Korean immigrants who had to leave their country due to the Japanese invasion.
Vila Dosal commented that the twinning of Mérida and the city of Incheon has been very profitable for the development of each city’s economic, tourist and cultural projects.
Today Mérida is home to the largest Korean community in Mexico, with more than 2,000 descendants of those early immigrants.
Koreans in Mérida demonstrate a great example of work, discipline and respect for their traditions, said the mayor, adding that Koreans here are prominent Meridanos in all levels of Merida society.
Along the street, a monument to Korea’s contribution to Mérida life is planned.
The street name was approved unanimously by City Council on Aug. 19.
Ulises Park Lee, President of the Association of Korean Descendants in Yucatan, expressed his community’s appreciation of this gesture.
“Without doubt this is one of the most important days for us,” he said.
The event was also attended by José Enrique Aristi Arcila, Honorary Consul of Korea with jurisdiction in Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo and Tabasco; Genny Chang, director of the Korean Immigration Museum; Maria Fritz Sierra, Municipal Secretary; the councilors Leonardo Parra Canto, Dafne López Osorio, José Luis Martinez Semerena, Milagros Romero Bastarrachea, Rosa Ceballos Wood and Arturo Sabido Góngora; Víctor Hugo Lozano Poveda, General Coordinator of Community Policy; Cesar Bojórquez Zapata, General Coordinator of Urban Performance and Aref Karam Espositos, director of Urban Development.