Israel’s Ambassador to Guatemala Matty Cohen, along with Mayor Jorge Antonio Orellana Pinto, took part in the first such renaming ceremony on the main street of the southern city of Guastatoya.
• Evangelical Church suggests expanding initiative throughout Guatemala.
By Ariel Kahana
Israel and Guatemala’s close ties are on full display in the Latin American country, where as part of a new project, cities across the country are renaming streets and traffic circles “Jerusalem the Capital of Israel.”
The project is the initiative of Israel’s Ambassador to Guatemala Matty Cohen. On Friday, Cohen, along with Mayor Jorge Antonio Orellana Pinto, took part in the first such renaming ceremony on the main street of the southern city of Guastatoya.
Describing the atmosphere at the ceremony, Cohen said, “Hundreds of people, including children, stood along the street and waved Israeli flags, and even the stores along the road had hung Israeli flags.”
The “Shalom” club, which brings together the thousands of Guatemalans who have completed courses given by MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, has also enlisted to help bring the project to other areas of the country. The Evangelical Church, of which many Guatemalans are members, is also pushing to rename streets and traffic circles across the country for Jerusalem.
In May, Guatemala followed the U.S.’s lead to become the second country to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The Guatemalan Congress also recently passed a law designating May 14 Israel-Guatemala Friendship Day.
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