PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today announced the PVD+GTM Summit, scheduled for October 11-14 the Summit will convene local officials and stakeholders, as well as a delegation of dignitaries from the country of Guatemala led by former president and current mayor of Guatemala’s capital city, Álvaro Arzú. The summit is an effort to strengthen commercial, tourist, cultural, and educational relations between the City of Providence and Guatemala City. Events include a ceremony for the signing of a sister city agreement and a special lecture commemorating the signing of the peace accords; which ended Guatemala’s 36-year civil war.
“With the United States already being Guatemala’s largest trading partner and the country having the biggest economy in Central America, this summit will allow us to forge a relationship with a promising partner,” said Mayor Elorza. “In a world that is more interconnected than ever, we must seek to establish links that could lead to economic opportunity for a stronger, more vibrant Providence.”
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Guatemala peace accords. Mayor Arzú is widely respected for spearheading peace in his country and bringing legitimacy to Guatemalan government. In honor of this momentous occasion Mayor Arzú will deliver a special lecture at the Watson Institute at Brown University, before making his way to the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington D.C.
“It is an enormous pleasure, in addition to a privilege, to send the citizens of Providence warm greetings from the City of Guatemala,” said Mayor Arzú. “In the coming days and in honor of the PVD+GTM Summit, I will have the opportunity to visit the City, meet with Mayor Elorza and share the excitement of the activities that, jointly, we have prepared to celebrate the sistership of our cities.”
According to the Census in 2014, Providence residents’ second most common country of origin was Guatemala. Providence is also home to the Guatemalan Consulate for the New England region, making the City a natural gateway for Guatemala the Northeastern United States.
The Summit will wrap up Friday, October 14 and lead into the Artisano Expo, a separate event organized by Guatemalan officials to showcase goods and services offered by businesses based in Guatemala. Those interested in more details about the expo can contact Rafael Paiz, Communications Director for Guatemala City at .
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12TH
City to City Meeting & Signing of the Sister City Agreement
Providence City Hall, Mayor’s Office, Alderman’s Chamber
25 Dorrance Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02909
Lecture: Twentieth Anniversary of the Signing of the Peace Accords in Guatemala
Watson Institute, Brown University
111 Thayer St, Providence, Rhode Island 02912
Lecture: Evolution of the Artisanal Sector in Recent Years in Guatemala
Chase Center Rhode Island School of Design Museum
20 N Main St, Providence, Rhode Island 02903
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13TH
Official Opening of Summit
Providence Place, 5 Ave of the Arts, Providence, Rhode Island, 02903
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14TH
John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
94 George St, Providence, Rhode Island 02906
Chef De La Fuente Cooking Experience
139 Mathewson Street Providence, RI 02903
Guatemala is the most populous county in Central America. Its GDP was $63.794 billion USD and the growth rate was 4.25% in 2015, according to the World Bank. The Office of the US Trade Representative reports the US and Guatemala traded $10.0 billion worth of goods last year.