Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Installation of the new Berlín Mayor: Carlos Crúz

It’s been so long since I wrote last – and seeing what the last blog was, I figured I should share this bit of news next.  May 1st is the day that the old mayor exits and the new mayor takes over.

We were given an official invitation to the event which was to take place at 3 p.m.

The BAND cutting confetti at about 2:45 p.m. - we were peeking out the dorm window
Lots of people in the park
We figured they would maybe start at 4 so we were pretty relaxed about not leaving the house till 3:15 or so.  But they had already started!  Incredible.  I can’t remember a meeting or event that ever started on time here.  Official or not. 

In solidarity of the out-going mayor Don Lito
There were lots of people in the park.  There was the usual table of honor on the bandstand – and seated there were Don Lito (the prior mayor) and his wife,  Carlos (the new mayor) and his wife, the wife of a former mayor long deceased and Mercedes who is the former Síndico (legal representative).
The table of honor and the new Consejos standing in back of them
There was an emcee.  Don Lito was given an opportunity to speak.  He is a good speaker.  There is a lot of affection for him in this town – he graciously congratulated Carlos and said he would give his support to the new mayor on behalf of the people.  Nice words.  Then Carlos had a chance to speak.  He graciously thanked Don Lito and gave his commitment to the people of Berlín. 

Ex-mayor Don Lito speaking - far left

New mayor Carlos Cruz speaking

The crowds more or less listening
Then came the presentation of the … not sure what to call it.  It looks like a stick – but wrapped in blue and white ribbon.  A symbolic gesture of mayoral power.  This was presented to Carlos by Don Lito.  Then Carlos was given a sash which was presented by the widow of the long deceased ex-mayor.
The symbolic hand-over

Putting on of the sash
Then the old staff was basically ushered off the stage – Don Lito and Carlos arm in arm and walking away shaking hands and getting hugs.  Then Carlos and crew came back with ‘the band’ – we already were familiar with this band because they had been practicing all week (and longer) next door!  And of course, they were accompanied by the obligatory clowns. 
Being ushered off the stage ...

Saying good-bye and hello

You think Don Lito's wife is looking forward to a quieter life?

They played a couple of energizing drum and chanting tunes.  And there was a young man who sang a rap in honor of the new mayor.
Carlos and his Consejos

The clowns and the drum corp
Then Carlos got up to speak.  I’d never heard him speak publicly.  I’ve wondered … he has such a soft voice.  But he spoke with energy and confidence.  He talked a little about this past week – the handing over of the books.  And he said he didn’t want to accuse anyone – because all incoming mayors accuse and blame the prior office … BUT...  he has a list of debts that he inherited.  He read off each one.  Close to $3 million worth of debt.  Debts to Credit houses all over the country.  Hmmm.  Is this normal?  Apparently so.  In the newspaper are listed other communities with similar issues. 

But – he didn’t want to accuse or place blame.  But the books spoke for themselves. 

Carlos also held up his Party Vest - what he wore when out campaigning.  He had promised to set it aside - and not just work for those who supported him - he symbolically set it aside to show that he intends to work for all the people of Berlin. 
The "Party" vest being put in the closet.
Our big thought is … ok Carlos.  We’ll see how you do. 

And of course, time will tell.

We here at the Pastoral House do NOT participate in party politics.  We do NOT financially support any party or candidate (with what money I would ask!!!) – although the ‘rumor’ is from several people that Carlos won because we financially supported him.  I would love to know who dreams up these rumors!!  Good grief.

Apparently, “all” of Talpetates is mad at us for the support we gave Carlos.  Sigh.

So Cecilia and I headed back to the Pastoral House after about an hour.  I had wanted the photos of course.  And it is always fun (fun?) to hear anyone of importance speak publicly.  I managed to attend briefly and get photos from all but one of the mayoral candidate events during the campaign. 

The events continued on with a caravan – another tradition – they were getting that organized when Cecilia and I began our walk back to the house.  And there was a dance later on.  The music was quite loud – who needs to attend when we can ‘enjoy’ the music right in our own back yard.  Thankfully I have a fan in my bedroom which rattles quite loudly – so I could cover up the music that went on into the wee hours of the morning.

We woke up to a Tuesday with no obvious signs of ‘change’ – I guess Carlos needs more than a day to make his presence known. 

Lots of police and private security present

The  confetti being well-enjoyed

Sorry ... I always have to have a picture of the babies ...

Too cute ... future mayor??  Looks like he is thinking

A lot of energy

Getting ready for the caravan

Loading the babies ... someone on top did end up helping him in

The clowns willingly mug for the photo op

And let the caravan begin ...

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