February 27, 2009, Washington, DC – At the launch for the Mexican Red Cross's 2009 fundraising drive today First Lady Margarita Zavala Calderón thanked the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) and its President, Lincoln McCurdy for the donation of ambulances to serve the people of Tabasco, Mexico. The ceremony, held at the President's residence, was symbolic of the close ties between Mexico, Turkey and the United States.
The President of the Mexican Red Cross also thanked TCA at the ceremony which was attended by the wives of Mexican cabinet members, as well as over 100 others.
Reyes (D-16th/TX). The dedication was designed to recognize the efforts by Congressman Ortiz and Congressman Reyes, who are deans of the Hispanic Caucus and members of the Turkish Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, to bring together the people of Mexico, Turkey and the United States.
Congressman Ortiz stated the following on the occasion: "I am honored that the Turkish Coalition of America donated ambulances on behalf of Congressman Silvestre Reyes and me to assist with the relief efforts in Mexico . This shows the bond between two peoples who share a common experience of destruction and hardship, but are willing to offer their services to help each other out. I am proud to be a part of this partnership between Turkish Americans and the Mexican Red Cross, and this goodwill gesture will forever be a testament to that partnership."
"Bringing together Turkish Americans, Hispanic Americans and the citizens of Mexico builds bridges and friendships that will last long into the future," said Lincoln McCurdy, President of TCA. "While it is true that shared adversity was the catalyst for this donation, the result has been a shared understanding and a desire to work together in the future."
Mexico endured one of its worst national disasters in November of 2007 when the state of Tabasco was hit by a hurricane, causing massive flooding and the destruction of tens of thousands of homes and schools, as well as the state's crops. The flooding left over a million people homeless, an estimated one-third of the victims were children. In hopes of a more immediate recovery in future cases of need, two ambulances have been donated to the Mexican Red Cross by TCA as a gesture of friendship.
Turkish Americans know firsthand the critical role international assistance plays in saving lives and rebuilding after witnessing the kindness of the international community when Turkey was struck by major earthquakes in August of 1999. Nations across the globe, the United States and the American people in particular, showed great support and sympathy to Turkey during its most dire days.
Mexico and its people also contributed life saving aid and rescue resources which helped alleviate the suffering of those impacted by this earthquake. This gift from Turkish Americans to the people of Tabasco, Mexico is a way of showing solidarity to victims of natural disasters.
"The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute is proud to support the efforts of the TCA to generate friendships and mutual understanding with the people of Mexico and Hispanic Americans," said William Gil, Vice President of Programs for the CHCI. "Programs like this are essential to bringing together cultures, peoples and nations throughout the world." The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) is one of the leading Hispanic non-profit and non-partisan 501(c) (3) organizations in the US.