Meet Mr. Amigo 2018: Annual Brownsville tradition is 55 years old
Telmex Foundation CEO Arturo Elias Ayub was named Mr. Amigo 2018 at an official ceremony Monday at the Texas Southmost College ITEC Center.
The announcement and Mr. Amigo poster unveiling was hosted by TSC, the Mr. Amigo Association, City of Brownsville, Consulate of Mexico in Brownsville and the U.S. General Consulate at Matamoros, and drew a big crowd, including various officials from both sides of the border. Presiding over the event were Mexican Consul Juan Carlos Cue Vega, Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez, TSC President Jesus Roberto Rodriguez and Mr. Amigo Association President Arturo Trevino.
Ayub, who sent a video “thank you” to be played at the ceremony, is Mr. Amigo No. 55. The first to wear the mantle was Miguel Aleman, president of Mexico from 1946 to 1952. Aleman was named Mr. Amigo in 1964, the year the organization was created by the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce.
Each year the association’s selection committee, made up of four past presidents, looks for someone who promotes the improvement of quality of life in the Hispanic community and serves as a role model for citizens of Mexico and the United States, according to the association. The honoree must be a Mexican citizen who has contributed to friendship and understanding between the two countries, exemplifies high standards and has excelled in his or her professional life.
Other honorees have included Mario “Cantinflas” Moreno, Vicente Fernandez, Raul Velasco, Lola Beltran, Tito Gulzar, Juan Gabriel, Lucia Mendez, Lucha Villa, Armando Manzanero, Jose Jose, Angelica Vale and Arath de la Torre.
In his comments, Mayor Martinez said waiting to learn the identity each year is “sort of like waiting for Santa Claus,” and praised the association for its hard work keeping the tradition alive each year.
“We need these traditions to continue, especially these days,” he said. “We need people to recognize that we are one family.”
The association’s big annual fundraiser, Taste of La Frontera, takes place Jan. 19 at the Brownsville Event Center. Mr. Amigo festivities continue from Feb. 23 to March 2 during the Charro Days Fiesta.