Mexican public works conference coming to Ciudad Juarez

Bob Kass Public Works Director
City of Campbell, California
Member, APWA International Affairs Committee

The bustling border town of Ciudad Juarez will be the site of the Association of Mexican Municipalities (AMMAC) Public Works and Services Congress next month. This annual event, which will be held from April 25 through 27, brings together hundreds of public works officials from throughout Mexico to discuss the latest technical and managerial issues affecting the delivery of public works and services in Mexico.

Located on the U.S.-Mexico border in the state of Chihuahua, Ciudad Juarez is the fourth largest city in Mexico, with a population approaching two million, more than twice the size of its neighbor and sister city to the north, El Paso, Texas.

Ciudad Juarez today is enjoying one of its greatest periods of prosperity following the recent signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It is home to four universities, more than 400 factories, traditional and modern shopping areas, museums, old missions, public libraries, sports complexes, the fourth largest bullfighting arena in the world, a country club, off-track betting, world class hotels and restaurants, an international airport, and a vibrant night life.

The AMMAC Conference is a unique opportunity to learn about the challenges facing our Mexican counterparts as their country enters a new era of more open, democratic governance. Last year's conference was held in Mazatlán, Mexico and was attended by past APWA President Jerry Fay and members of APWA's International Affairs Committee and AMMAC/APWA Task Force. This year's conference will be attended by APWA President Judith Mueller and various members of the Committee and Task Force.

You will never have a better, or easier, opportunity to become a foreign traveler and visit a country with a different language, customs, culture, and history. U.S. and Canadian citizens do not even need a passport or visa. All that's needed is the desire for a little adventure in your life and you are sure to have a great time.

APWA members interested in attending or participating in the conference should contact either Bob Kass at 408-866-2150 (e-mail: Bobk@ci.campbell.ca.us), or Julio Fuentes, Chair of the APWA/AMMAC Task Force, at 619-533-3092 (e-mail: JCF@sdcity.sannet.gov).

Members are also encouraged to visit AMMAC's web site at www.ammac.org.mx or www.elpasocvb.com for information on the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez area.