Letter from the President

Dear Members and Supporters,

I am delighted to highlight the remarkable achievements and invaluable partnerships that define our esteemed organization, the International Good Neighbor Council (IGNC) Laredo. As we embark on another year of fostering goodwill and unity between the United States and Mexico, I am filled with gratitude for the impactful work we have accomplished together.

For over five decades, IGNC Laredo has been dedicated to promoting the principle of Good Neighbor and friendship between the countries of the Western Hemisphere. Through our steadfast efforts, we have facilitated social, cultural, youth, and educational exchanges, while upholding the fundamental principles of democracy.

One of our most cherished collaborations is with Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association for the Bridge Ceremony, an iconic tradition that symbolizes the unity and goodwill shared by our two countries. This ceremony serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of cooperation and understanding fostered by our organization.

Our success is greatly attributed to the unwavering support of our esteemed partners, including businesses, individuals, and dignitaries from our sister cities. Their steadfast commitment to our mission has been instrumental in our continued growth and impact.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to every one of you for your unwavering support and dedication to IGNC Laredo. Your contributions make a meaningful difference in the lives of countless individuals and communities, both locally and around the world.

In the spirit of friendship and collaboration, I invite you to join us in our endeavors and become an integral part of our mission to build bridges of goodwill and understanding between nations.

Thank you for your continued commitment to our shared vision.

Eileen Andrade-Martinez
President, IGNC- Laredo Chapter

IGNC Promotes International Friendship and Goodwill

Those familiar with the International Good Neighbor Council (IGNC) probably know the organization is responsible for Laredo’s Abrazo Children ceremony, which symbolizes the deep ties that link the United States and Mexico. The IGNC, however, has a much more storied history that dates back more than half a century. It was in 1954 when two prominent businessmen, Jose F. Muguerza of Mexico and Glen Garret of the United States, founded the international organization. Their objective was to promote friendship between the countries of the Western Hemisphere, with a focus on the United States and Mexico.

The headquarters of the IGNC was in Monterrey, Mexico, but it wasn’t long before chapters started sprouting up all along the border in Mexico, including the Laredo chapter in 1961. The IGNC organizes numerous events aimed at increasing good relations between Mexico and the United States. Each fall, all the chapters in both countries join together in the U.S. for a convention. They meet in the same way in the Spring in Mexico. At each convention, the members who are everyday citizens of their respective countries, discuss important, relevant issues. Some of these include education, immigration and healthcare.

In the fall of 2015, the IGNC Laredo Chapter and the Consejo de Nuevo Laredo held a fundraising event at the Laredo Country Club to raise funds for club projects and scholarships. The event was a success with hundreds of supporters from both sides of the border attending.

Additionally, the different chapters of the IGNC present scholarships based on merit and need in the fall and spring. The Laredo Chapter established an endowed scholarship at Texas A&M International University in the name of Renato Zapata, Sr., one of the founders and strong advocate of the local chapter.

The most well-known IGNC event for Laredoans is the Bridge Ceremony, a tradition since the 1800’s. The council became involved in the ceremony in 1969 when Velia E. Uribe introduced the idea of the children exchanging an abrazo, or a warm embrace, along with the adult officials. Since then, there has been a ceremony featuring the children every year. Many of the children have gone on to become successful adults. Some of the Abrazo Children selected through the years are even second generation kids, who, as their parents did in their early years, are now representing either the U.S. or Mexico as an Abrazo Child.

Board of Directors

Mission Statement

IGNC-CIBV International Good Neighbor Council is a non-profit organization founded in 1954 by prominent Mexican and American businessmen. The head office is located in Monterrey, Mexico. The objective of the association is to promote the principle of Good Neighbor and friendship between countries of the Western Hemisphere. There are currently a total of 26 active Chapters in the United States and Mexico. The chapters cooperate in activities that increase social, cultural, youth and educational exchanges, and support the principles of democracy based on constitutional authority. Many friendships of ten, twenty, and more years standing have developed across the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande border between members of IGNC.


Executive Board