METAIRIE—The bond between the New Orleans Metro area and Honduras grows this weekend. Mayors from Kenner and the Honduran city of La Ceiba break bread.
Dignitaries from Jefferson Parish and Honduras crowded Salvatore's Restaurant in Fat City Saturday night. Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni and La Ceiba Mayor Carlos Aguilar met and acknowledged their similar ages. These two young mayors, brand new to their position met to revive a decade old Sister Cities agreement between their cities, and these leaders have much in common.
"We were founded in 1855. They were founded in 1857. We both have Carnival. We both come from fruit and vegetable industries," Yenni said.
Mayor Aguilar says most of the Hondurans in this region are from his city, and he hopes to improve the economic conditions so those who came here for work may return, if they want.
"Our workers are very hard workers. We know our countries are in very good need of employees and our people have to come here," Aguilar said.
Mayor Aguilar would also like to learn how to keep his city safer with suggestions from the Kenner Police Department.
"Maybe they'll train our local police in some areas, and maybe we can get cars from the police," Aguilar said.
Mayor Yenni says that's something he could look into. He can also help them with Homeland Security.
"We can easily open up our books and share our emergency plans with them because both cities are familiar with hurricanes and storms," Yenni said.
This is just the latest international bond being built with Latin America here in Southeast Louisiana, and these mayors hope it continues to grow.
Earlier this year, both the presidents of Honduras and Chile were in the New Orleans area building international ties.