Central American Mayors and Councilmen Visit Model Municipality in Mexico

A delegation of mayors and town councilmen from Guatemala and Honduras visited the Mexican municipality of Huamantla as part of a study tour sponsored by the International Republican Institute (IRI).  The trip allowed the delegation to see Huamantla’s successful model for local economic development.  Located in the state of Tlaxcala, Huamantla has been designated as a Magic Municipality by the Mexican federal government, a designation held only by 35 of Mexico’s 2443 municipalities, which meet tourism, lodging and industry and agricultural standards.

Representatives from the municipalities of Totonicapán and San Cristóbal de Totonicapán in Guatemala and La Paz and Cane in Honduras visited several factories to learn about the variety of products being produced in Huamantla, including Speedo bathing suits, La Morena chilies and Chechitos snack foods.  The delegation saw, first hand, how Huamantla has developed robust industrial and agricultural sectors and capitalized on lucrative export markets.  The group also visited greenhouses where organic potatoes and tomatoes are grown and learned of different farming techniques.  

During the trip, the delegation learned how the municipal and state government in Huamantla played a role in incentivizing businesses to invest in their municipality.  In addition, the delegates visited the state supported technical university to learn how local government can partner with state institutions to develop a workforce that meets the demands of the local economy.

Upon their return home, the members of the delegation developed plans for how their communities can use similar economic development techniques to attract investment, increase tourism and break into more lucrative international markets.  

This tour was a part of IRI’s regional governance program in Central America which helps mayors and municipal officials more effectively deliver services and govern in more responsive and transparent manners.  By providing comparative regional examples and facilitating coordination between neighboring countries, IRI is stimulating regional cooperation in the promotion of responsive governance. 

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