San Diego and Tijuana: The importance of Bi-national Culture

Re-educating the border

Jorge D'Garay is a renowned expert when it comes to public relations with over 20 years of experience. With local, state, national and international clients, he has joined the ranks of people who are seeking to improve the region's image, by showing it's true potential, a fact that is recognized by the city of San Diego given that they've extended two invitations to him, one to be a part of a committee that will organize the 100 year anniversary of Balboa Park, and another to be a counselor to the Mayor of San Diego.

VIDEO : Interview with Jorge D'Garay

How did he achieve this type of acknowledgment? In an in interview with San Diego Red, D'Garay mentioned the importance of re-educating the border to consolidate bi-national culture, the importance of San Diego and Tijuana join efforts to create a mega-region many speak of but is not commonly know by the public.

Since 1993, the Department of Foreign Relations in Mexico approved an agreement where San Diego and Tijuana formalized their collaboration. After heavy rains affected the region, both cities joined forces to help victims and help clean up the cities.

Jorge D'Garay is the only Baja Californian invited to be part of the Mayor's group of counselors and the celebration of Balboa Park, besides being flattered by it, he pointed it out is a sign of how important this region is for both sides of the border. "We have always looked to build bridges of communication between cities and the region", D'Garay stated.

The follow up for this type of work implies a challenge for each new administration. Tijuana and Baja California will change leaders by the end of the year, and San Diego is facing a new era with Bob Filner's resignation and Todd Gloria as acting Mayor, but that shouldn't have to influence the bi-national relationship, for Jorge D'Garay, this relationship should be institutional and followed up on despite the changes in leadership.

"What does the bi-national relationship imply?" simply put, we are neighbors", D'Garay added. It implies knowledge and coexistence, because it is not about moving to another part of the city, in this case it is moving to between countries and there should be a good relationship. Friends, economic relations, culture, these are some of the things that are without borders. San Diego and Tijuana don't end with the international line, there are plenty of activities in which citizens can collaborate with besides crossing over just to go shopping.

Jorge D'Garay considers we can all contribute, talking about what we know and love of our cities, re-educating each other given that we don't really know each other as well as we think. Culinary arts and winery have become important references when promoting the region, and for those that are still afraid of crossing over to Mexico, Jorge mentioned that, while there are many challenges to face, citizens can help by expressing how safe they feel, and that would be the greatest impact.

Speaking on the invitations San Diego extended to him, Jorge D'Garay stated that it was a way of involving Baja California, thus involving other institutions and increasing bi-national events.

In conclusion, Jorge D'Garay made an open invitation to help make bi-national culture a collective effort on behalf of San Diego and Tijuana, California and Baja California, and should include citizens, entrepreneurs, political leaders as well as other sectors of the population, it's not about "what are you going to give me?" and more about "how can we help each other?"


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