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Itinerary and Media Accreditation : State Visits

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2009

Itinerary and Media Accreditation: Governor General’s State Visits to Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica

OTTAWA—At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, and her husband, His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond, will undertake State visits to the United Mexican States, from December 6 to 9, the Republic of Guatemala, from December 9 to 12, and the Republic of Costa Rica, from December 12 to 15, 2009. The Minister of State Foreign Affairs (Americas), the Honourable Peter Kent, will be a member of the official delegation, in addition to a delegation of Canadians working in a variety of fields, including governance, arts and culture, civic engagement and youth.

The delegates will interact with their Mexican, Guatemalan and Costa Rican counterparts as well as play an active role in Their Excellencies’ meetings with civil society. Information about members of the Canadian delegation will be available shortly at www.gg.ca

State visits by a governor general play an important role in Canada’s relations with other countries. They are the highest form of diplomatic contact, and they mark further developments in bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.

The public can follow the State visits through the speeches, photos and videos available daily at www.gg.ca. Blogs written by Their Excellencies and the delegates will be posted on www.citizenvoices.gg.ca

Below is the detailed itinerary for the visits (Central Standard Time). Please note that the following itinerary is subject to change:

STATE VISIT TO MEXICO

Sunday, December 6
Mexico City

1:30 p.m.
Arrival in Mexico
Their Excellencies will be welcomed by Mexican government officials and Mr. Guillermo E. Rishchynski, Canada’s Ambassador to the United Mexican States.
Presidential Hangar, Mexico City International Airport, Benito Juárez
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

Monday, December 7 
Mexico City

10:30 a.m.
Visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Their Excellencies will be greeted by Mrs. Margarita Zavala de Calderón, First Lady of Mexico, Msgr. Diego Monroy Ponce, Rector of the Basilica. They will then tour the basilica.
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

11:30 a.m.
Wreath-Laying Ceremony at Los Niños Héroes de Chapultepec
Their Excellencies will visit the monument of Los Niños Héroes, which is a tribute to the memory and sacrifice of six young men who died defending their country during the Mexican-American War. On September 13, 1847, they refused to relinquish their posts and bravely met the superior forces of the Americans, who were quickly advancing on Chapultepec Castle. Their sacrifice has been forever etched into Mexico’s history.
Castillo Chapultepec, Mexico City
OPEN TO MEDIA

12 p.m.
Official Welcoming Ceremony with Military Honours

Their Excellencies will be welcomed during an official ceremony hosted by His Excellency Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico. The Governor General and the President will deliver remarks.
Los Pinos, Mexico City
OPEN TO MEDIA 

12:30 p.m.
Meeting with the President of Mexico

Their Excellencies will meet with the President of Mexico to discuss Canada-Mexico relations. Following the meeting, the Governor General and the President will deliver statements to the media.
Los Pinos, Mexico City
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY – The Governor General and the President will deliver statements to the media at 1:45 p.m.

2:30 p.m.
State Luncheon Hosted by the President of Mexico
Their Excellencies will attend a State luncheon hosted by the President of Mexico in honour of their visit.
Los Pinos, Mexico City
CLOSED TO MEDIA

7:30 p.m.
Ceremony to Honour Friends of Canada on the Occasion of the 65th Anniversary of Canada-Mexico Diplomatic Relations
During a ceremony hosted by Mr. Guillermo E. Rishchynski, Canada’s Ambassador to the United Mexican States, the Governor General will deliver remarks and present medallions to recognize individuals who have significantly contributed to the Canada-Mexico relations.
Four Seasons Hotel, Mexico City
OPEN TO MEDIA

Tuesday, December 8
Mexico City

9:30 a.m.
Seminar entitled “Perspectives on the Canada-Mexico Relationship: Building Pathways Towards the Future”
Accompanied by Senator Carlos Naverrete Ruiz, President of the Senate, and two Senate foreign affairs committee chairs, the Governor General will deliver opening remarks and participate in a discussion with Mexican students and Canadian youth delegates as part of a half-day seminar on Canada-Mexico relations. 
Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada Auditorium of the Senate, Mexico City
OPEN TO MEDIA

9:30 a.m.
Art Matters Forum of His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond on the Arts, New Media and Cultural Diversity
          
Mr. Jean-Daniel Lafond, along with Canadian cultural delegates, will participate in an Art Matters forum on the Arts, New Media and Cultural Diversity.
University Museum of Contemporary Arts, National University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City
OPEN TO MEDIA

12 p.m.
Address to Senate of the United Mexican States
The Governor General will meet with Senator Carlos Naverrete Ruiz, President of the Senate and the leaders of the directive board, as well as with other political parties represented in the Senate, followed by a ceremony, where she will address the chamber in full.
Senate Building, Mexico City
OPEN TO MEDIA

2:15 p.m.
Luncheon Hosted by the Ambassador of Canada, the Canada Chamber of Commerce and the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI)
The Governor General will deliver the keynote address before members of the Canadian and Mexican business community of Mexico City.
InterContinental Hotel, Mexico City
OPEN TO MEDIA

Tuxtla Gutiérrez

7:05 p.m.
Arrival in Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Their Excellencies will be welcomed by Mr. Juan José Sabines Guerrero, Governor of the State of Chiapas, and his spouse Mrs. María Isabel Aguilera de Sabines.
Angel Albino Corzo Airport, Tuxtla Gutiérrez
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

Chiapa de Corzo

8:30 pm
Meeting with the Governor of Chiapas, followed by an Official Dinner
Their Excellencies will meet with the Governor and his spouse before attending an official dinner hosted by the Governor, in honour of their visit.
Former Convento de Santo Domingo, Chiapa de Corzo
CLOSED TO MEDIA

Wednesday, December 9
San Cristóbal de Las Casas

9:30 a.m.
Tour of Na Bolom Museum
Their Excellencies will visit the Na Bolom Museum, which was founded by famed Danish anthropologist and philanthropist Frans Blom and his wife Gertrude Blom, who left behind a collection of photographs, archaeological pieces, crafts and regional Mayan objects. At the end of the tour, Their Excellencies will attend a presentation on Mayan textiles given by an anthropologist who specializes in Chiapas highland textiles.
Na Bolom Museum, San Cristóbal de Las Casas
CLOSED TO MEDIA

11:30 a.m.
Theatrical Presentation Migration: Finding New Paths to Opportunities by Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya (FOMMA)
The Governor General will attend a dramatic presentation that aims to raise awareness of the various migration issues faced by women at the custom’s office, at the border and within the city. FOMMA is a collective of Mayan women who use theatre as a tool for education and community building. They are performers, playwrights and teachers who tour in their communities and internationally, performing plays that focus on women’s and Indigenous rights, literacy, cultural survival, ecology, health and education in the Tzeltal and Tzotzil Indigenous languages.
Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya (FOMMA), San Cristóbal de Las Casas
OPEN TO MEDIA - Access will be granted to a limited number of members of the media.

12:15 p.m.
Round-table Discussion with Representatives and Beneficiaries of Projects Funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)
The Governor General will deliver the opening remarks and take part in a discussion with NGOs  that support women, youth and Indigenous groups among others in the region of San Cristóbal de LasCasas:

  • Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya (searching for new labor alternatives)
  • Domestic Employees Collective of the Chiapas Highlands (literacy program)
  • Fundación Arroz con leche (establishing women’s embroidery co-operatives in Chenalhó communities)
  • Madre Tierra México (communities for infrastructure development)
  • Germinalia (centre for creativity development and learning)

Courtyard of FOMMA, San Cristóbal de Las Casas
OPEN TO MEDIA
MEDIA AVAILABILITY –
The Governor General will deliver a statement to the media at 1:15 p.m.

STATE VISIT TO GUATEMALA

Wednesday, December 9
Guatemala City

5:40 p.m.
Arrival in Guatemala
Their Excellencies will be welcomed by Guatemalan government officials and by Ms. Leeann McKechnie, Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Guatemala.
La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

Thursday, December 10
Guatemala City

8:35 a.m.
Official Welcoming Ceremony with Military Honours and Change of the White Rose of Peace Ceremony
Their Excellencies will be welcomed during a ceremony with military honours before participating in the Change of the White Rose for Peace Ceremony. The signing of the Peace Accords ending Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, on December 29, 1996, opened up a new chapter in the country’s history. Every day since then, the Army Honour Guard places a white rose on a monument in the courtyard of the National Palace, to celebrate another day of peace in the country and the renewed peace process. These roses are replaced daily with fresh ones. The day-old rose, symbolizing 24 hours of peace, is given to a guest of the country in a ceremony held in the courtyard.
Patio de la Paz, Palacio Nacional, Guatemala City
OPEN TO MEDIA - Following the ceremony, the Governor General and His Excellency Alvaro Colom Caballeros, President of the Republic of Guatemala, will deliver remarks.

9 a.m.
Meeting with the President of the Republic of Guatemala
Their Excellencies will meet with His Excellency Alvaro Colom Caballeros, President of the Republic of Guatemala, to discuss the relations between Canada and Guatemala. Following the meeting, they will both deliver statements to the media.
Presidential Office, Palacio Nacional, Guatemala City
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – Before the meeting, at 8:55 a.m., from the balcony of Palacio Nacional.
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY – The Governor General and the President will deliver statements to the media at 10:15 a.m.

11 a.m.
Meeting with the Board of Congress of the Republic of Guatemala
Their Excellencies will meet with His Excellency Roberto Alejos, President of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala, and fellow members of the Board of Congress.
Congressional Palace, Guatemala City
CLOSED TO MEDIA

12 p.m.
Meeting with Chief Justice Erick Alvarez, President of the Supreme Court to the Republic of Guatemala
The Governor General will meet with Chief Justice Erick Alvarez, President of the Supreme Court to the Republic of Guatemala, in support of Guatemala’s newly elected Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Building, Guatemala City
PHOTO OP – Upon the arrival of Her Excellency at the Supreme Court Building.

1 p.m.
State Luncheon Hosted by the President of the Republic of Guatemala
Their Excellencies and Canadian delegates will attend a State luncheon hosted by the President of the Republic of Guatemala.
Palacio Nacional, Guatemala City
CLOSED TO MEDIA

4:30 p.m.
Round-table Discussion with NGOs, Civil Society and Indigenous Leaders
On the occasion of International Human Rights Day (December 10), Their Excellencies will participate in a roundtable discussion with representatives of Guatemalan NGOs, civil society and indigenous leaders to discuss human rights, security, democracy, youth and socio-economic perspectives. The Governor General will deliver opening remarks.
The discussion will be held at Museo Ixchel, a museum that specializes in Guatemala’s rich weaving and textile tradition.
Museo Ixchel, Guatemala City
OPEN TO MEDIA

8:30 p.m.
Meeting with Mr. Carlos Castresana Fernandez, Head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)
Their Excellencies will meet with Commissioner Castresana who was appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the level of assistant secretary general. The CICIG is a major initiative involving members of the international community and Guatemalan society in the fight against corruption in government institutions and the business community. Its mandate serves to uncover and dismantle organized criminal activities, both within and outside of the State, and to strengthen police, legal and judicial frameworks and institutions.
Official Residence of the Ambassador of Canada, Guatemala City
CLOSED TO MEDIA

Friday, December 11

San Juan La Laguna
(Department of Sololá)

11:15 a.m.
Visit to Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Rural Economic Development Projects
Their Excellencies, along with Ms. Elana Yojcóm Upján, Departmental Governor of Sololá, and Mr. Flavio José Yojcóm García, Mayor of San Juan La Laguna, will visit a coffee farm co-operative and Associations of Women Weavers,  which have benefitted from PROSOL, a CIDA project worth $10 million. The purpose of PROSOL is to improve living conditions and income generation in the Department of Sololá, one of Guatemala’s poorest Indigenous regions. Other project partners include la Société de coopération pour le développement international (SOCODEVI) and the Centre for International Studies and Co-operation (CECI).
San Juan La Laguna
OPEN TO MEDIA 

12:15 p.m.
Round-table Discussion with representatives from the Municipal Council and Community Members of the civil society
Their Excellencies will meet with community members to discuss development in their region and their links to the Canadian project PROSOL.
Municipal Office of San Juan La Laguna
OPEN TO MEDIA
MEDIA AVAILABILITY –
The Governor General will deliver a statement to the media at 1:30 p.m.

Guatemala City

7:30 p.m.
Medallion Presentation Ceremony
During a ceremony hosted by Ms. Leeann McKechnie, Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Guatemala, the Governor General will deliver remarks and present medallions to recognize individuals who have significantly contributed to Canada-Guatemala relations.
Official Residence of the Ambassador of Canada, Guatemala City
OPEN TO MEDIA

Saturday, December 12
Adjacency Zone between Guatemala and Belize

10 a.m.
Meeting with Representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) Operating in the Adjacency Zone between Guatemala and Belize
Their Excellencies will meet with representatives of the OAS operating in the Adjacency Zone between Guatemala and Belize. Located between the towns of Benque Viejo (Belize) and Melchor de Mencos (Guatemala), the Office of the Secretary to the OAS was established to support the implementation of the Confidence-Building Measures Agreement signed by Belize and Guatemala in 2003 and renewed and expanded in 2005. One of the most important tasks of this special mission is that of verification, investigation, and follow-up on events or incidents occurring within the zone. The mission also provides support in humanitarian areas.
OAS office, Adjacency Zone
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – Outside OAS office, following the meeting.

11:15 a.m.
Presentation by Caracol Youth Communication Development Representatives
Their Excellencies will meet with youths from the Caracol program and attend a performance. Established in 2003, the Caracol Belizean program has contributed to building a culture of peace, democracy and solidarity by promoting intercultural exchange and creative education within a culture of gender equality. The activities of the program include language exchange between Guatemala and Belize: summer programs based on art, culture and the environment; Spanish as a second language training; physical education; and expressive arts.
OAS side building, Adjacency Zone
OPEN TO MEDIA
MEDIA AVAILABILITY –
The Governor General will deliver a statement to the media following the presentation.

3:15 p.m.
Visit to Tikal Archeological Park
Their Excellencies and the Canadian delegates will visit Tikal Archeological Park, established in 1957 as Guatemala’s first national park. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
Tikal Archeological Park, Tikal
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

STATE VISIT TO COSTA RICA

Saturday, December 12
San José

8:25 p.m.
Arrival in Costa Rica
Their Excellencies will be welcomed by Costa Rican government officials and Mr. Neil Reeder, Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Costa Rica.
Juan Santamaría International Airport, San José
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

Sunday, December 13
Puerto Limón

10:30 a.m.
Community Event Hosted by the Congresswoman of the Province of Limón and the Mayor of Limón
The Governor General will deliver an address following the opening remarks that will be delivered by Ms. Yalile Esna, Congresswoman of the Province of Limón, and Mr. Jeffrey Backford, Mayor of Puerto Limón. Her Excellency will be given the keys to the city.
Park, Town Square, Puerto Limón
OPEN TO MEDIA
MEDIA AVAILABILITY –
The Governor General will deliver a brief statement to the media at noon in front of the Puerto Limón City Hall building.

12:30 p.m.
Luncheon with Community Leaders
Their Excellencies will meet with community leaders of Puerto Limón, the capital of Limón Province. The capital encompasses a population of approximately 105 000, which includes citizens from many neighbouring small cities. The city, and the province in general, is home to most of Costa Rica’s citizens of African descent. The luncheon will be held at The Black Star Line building, which was incorporated by Marcus Garvey, who organized the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).
Community Hall, Black Star Line, Puerto Limón
CLOSED TO MEDIA

Monday, December 14
San José

9 a.m.
Roundtable with Leading Members of the Canadian Community
Their Excellencies will meet with leading members of the Canadian community in Costa Rica, during an event hosted by the Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Costa Rica, to discuss the active involvement of Canadians throughout the country, in various fields of endeavour, including those related to business, NGOs and education.
Real InterContinental Hotel, San José
OPEN TO MEDIA – During opening remarks only.

12 p.m.
Official Welcoming Ceremony
Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by His Excellency Oscar Arias Sánchez, President of the Republic of Costa Rica.
Presidencia, San José
OPEN TO MEDIA

12:10 p.m.
Meeting with the President of the Republic of Costa Rica
Their Excellencies will meet with the President of the Republic of Costa Rica, to discuss the relations between the two countries. Following their meeting, the Governor General and the President will deliver statements to the media.
Presidencia, San José
CLOSED TO MEDIA
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY –
Following the meeting, the Governor General and the President will deliver statements to the media in the Auditorium of Presidencia, at 12:40 p.m.

1 p.m.
State Luncheon Hosted by the President of the Republic of Costa Rica
In honour of their visit to the country, Their Excellencies will take part in a State luncheon hosted by the President of Costa Rica.
Presidencia, San José
CLOSED TO MEDIA

2:45 p.m.
Meeting with Mr. Luis P. Mora, President of the Supreme Court of Justice
The Governor General will meet with Mr. Luis P. Mora, President of the Supreme Court of Justice.
Supreme Court, San José
CLOSED TO MEDIA

3:15 p.m.
Visit of Centro de Cine
His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond will visit Centro de Cine, an institution that has played a key role in promoting Costa Rica's film and audiovisual industry, and which serves as a national archive of local productions. The centre was first established as a branch of the Ministry of Culture in 1973, and obtained its current formal title of “Costa Rican Center for film production” in 1977.
Centro de Cine, San José
CLOSED TO THE MEDIA

3:30 p.m.
Meeting with Mr. Luis A. Sobrado, President of the Electoral Tribunal
The Governor General will meet with Mr. Luis A. Sobrado, President of the Electoral Tribunal.
Electoral Tribunal, San José
CLOSED TO MEDIA
 

4 p.m.
Address to the Costa Rican Congress
During a plenary session, the Governor General will deliver an address to the Costa Rican Congress to highlight the strong and varied relations anchored by the Canada-Costa Rica Free-Trade Agreement.
Legislative Assembly, San José
OPEN TO MEDIA

8 p.m.
Ceremony for Friends of Canada and Costa Rica hosted by the Ambassador of Canada to Costa Rica
The Governor General and Mr. Neil Reeder, Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Costa Rica, will deliver remarks during this event. Her Excellency will also present medallions to recognize individuals who have contributed significantly to the Canada-Costa Rica relations.
Official Residence of the Ambassador, San José
OPEN TO MEDIA

Tuesday, December 15
San José

9:30 a.m.
Art Matters Forum of His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond
Mr. Jean-Daniel Lafond and Canadian cultural delegates will take part in an Art Matters forum with representatives of Costa Rica’s film and cultural sectors.
Veritas University, San José
OPEN TO MEDIA

2:45 p.m.
Visit to Omar Dengo Foundation
Their Excellencies will visit this private, Costa Rican non-profit organization that has been managing and carrying out national and regional projects in the fields of human development, educational innovation and new technologies. Since 1987, these projects have benefitted more than 1.5 million Costa Ricans, including children, young people, students, educators, professionals, community members and senior citizens.
Omar Dengo Foundation, San José
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – Upon the arrival of the Governor General.

3:05 p.m.
Youth Dialogue “Building Hope and Opportunity: Youth Developing Solutions to Local and Global Challenges”
The Governor General will host a Youth Dialogue on issues facing young people today and how youth are getting engaged in their community to address these challenges. Having made youth one of the priorities of her mandate, the Governor General inaugurated the Youth Dialogues series in 2007, providing youth in Canada and abroad with a space to voice their opinions on social issues and to pursue their dialogue with other young people on the Citizen Voices Web site.
The Governor General’s Youth Dialogues are part of a series of national and international high-energy discussions that focus on galvanizing youth across the country and around the world to become catalysts of change. Her Excellency then shares the ideas and perspectives presented during the dialogues with decision makers.
Omar Dengo Foundation, San José
OPEN TO MEDIA

- 30 -

Media Accreditation for State visits to Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica:

Canadian media wishing to cover the events of the Governor General’s State visits, from December 6 to 16, 2009, are asked to contact Julie Rocheleau at 613-998-7280 or jrocheleau@gg.ca at the Rideau Hall Press Office to arrange for accreditation.

Media Information

Julie Rocheleau                                                
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-7280
613-302-0249 (cell.)
jrocheleau@gg.ca

Marthe Blouin
Official spokesperson to the Governor General of Canada
613-993-0397
613-301-3379 (cell.)
mblouin@gg.ca

www.gg.ca
www.citizenvoices.gg.ca