Friday, January 22, 2016

Good-bye to a popular Ambassador



El Salvador is saying good-bye to US Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte.  The Ambassador, who was appointed by president Obama, is ending her five years of service to El Salvador.    She has been appointed by the US president to be the new permanent representative to the Organization of American States, but that nomination is still pending confirmation in the Senate.

The US Embassy website describes some of the recognition being bestowed on the ambassador:
Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez awarded the National "Jose Matias Delgado" Order in the Grand Cross Silver Plaque in recognition of her work and commitment in strengthening the relations between El Salvador and the United States.  
"We found in Ambassador Aponte an exceptional professional, with a great spirit of solidarity and a renewed vision," said Minister Martinez.....
The second recognition received by the Ambassador this week was the Golden Zenzontlat, granted by the municipal government of Sonsonate, for her humanitarian work in the performance of her duties as a diplomat in the country. 
The ceremony was held in front of the town hall in the center of Sonsonate, led by Mayor Roberto Aquino. 
During his speech, which took place in front of the Municipal Palace of Sonsonate, the Mayor Roberto Aquino told the Ambassador: "To us, you are a leader who has invited us to moderation and dialogue. You are leaving your mark across El Salvador. "
What Puerto Rico born Aponte brought to the job, which her two predecessors lacked, was a great heart for the Salvadoran people and the ability to speak Spanish.  She was respected by political figures on both the left and the right, and the Salvadoran people responded warmly to her outgoing personality.   She will be missed.

Aponte will be replaced by incoming Ambassador Jean Manes. Manes is a career State Department officer. Her two most recent assignments include serving as the Director of Resources for the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, overseeing $1.2 billion in resources for public diplomacy domestic and worldwide operations. She recently returned from Afghanistan where she served as the Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy.

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