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Historic partnership completed in Victoria (video)

By chirst
Aug. 25, 2012 at 3:25 a.m.
Updated Aug. 26, 2012 at 3:26 a.m.

Mayor Francisco Garcia Castells, of Guerrero, Coahuila, left, and Mayor Will Armstrong, of Victoria, plant an olive tree during a ceremony at Riverside Park. Castells said, "We are partners in history. We believe our cities are sisters. Besides the history, we can now look to help each other from an economic standpoint."

Victoria forged a future partnership Saturday with a Mexican town to celebrate centuries of a shared past.

"There was always a link, but it was undiscovered, unmentioned," said Victoria Mayor Will Armstrong said about Guerrero, Coahuila. "This has evolved over time as we realized how much we are linked together."

Armstrong and Mayor Francisco Garcia Castells of Guerrero, Coahuila, planted two olive trees together at the Presidio La Bahía site at Riverside Park.

"We are two mayors from two towns, from two states, from two nations and we are joining together and are planting trees that are symbolic of a new beginning," Armstrong said.

Bill Millet, director and producer of the film "Before the Alamo," said the olive trees were important to Texas history.

Millet is filming at local missions, such as the site of Fort St. Louis, which were settled from a parent mission in Guerrero hundreds of years ago.

Millet said the Spanish grew olive trees at their missions and Saturday's replanting ceremony restored the link between the two cultures.

Millet said the historical partnership between the two cities is a good example to other cities to reach across familiar borders.

"He is doing something that hardly any other mayor in Mexico, or in the United States, is doing," Millet said. "Mayor Armstrong did it and now he is doing it. They are actually going back and forth between Texas and Mexico."

Castells made the drive to Victoria to take part in ceremonies after Armstrong returned from a similar trip in July.

"I hope to see you in Guerrero one of these days," Castells told the crowd. "It is not too far, it is only four hours."

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