Abrazo Children & The Bridge Ceremony

When officials from the United States and Mexico gather at the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge on February 21 for the annual Abrazo ceremony, the festivities will start with the exchange of warm embraces and handshakes between four smiling children.

Since 1969, the International Good Neighbor Council (IGNC) has organized the Abrazo Children’s participation in the International Bridge Ceremony sponsored by La Posada Hotel/Suites.

The council’s Laredo and Nuevo Laredo chapters honor the children – two from the United States and two from Mexico – at a formal reception in January. Sponsored by RC Cola and the Trevino Family, the reception showcases the children and their beautiful, culturally appropriate attire.

Children, whose parents or relatives are volunteers with either the Washington’s Birthday Celebration (WBCA) or IGNC, are nominated through an application process with selection criteria listed in the nomination form. The Abrazo Children are then chosen by a committee comprised of executive members of WBCA and IGNC.

Many Abrazo Children are second generation kids, who, as their parents did in their early years, are now representing either the United States or Mexico as an Abrazo Child.

The International Good Neighbor Council has chapters throughout the U.S. and Mexico. It strives to foster goodwill between the two neighboring countries. The Abrazo Children symbolize the warm feelings that permeate the relationship between the communities along the Texas border.

Oldie but goldie

Abrazo Children Throughout the Years

iconfinder_flag-usa_748050 United States

1969Martha Bruni & Roberto E. Bruni

1970Marleen Allen & Lynn Prestgard

1971Michelle Martin & Sammy Yates, Jr.

1972Jennifer Magnon & Richard Rodriguez

1973Christine Joan Holliday & John Andrew Kazen

1974Alejandra Gonzalez & Joaquin E. Cigarroa

1975Patricia Solis & Mark Valls

1976Marisa Pena & William McKendrick, IV

1977Kathleen Brinkley & Renato Zapata, III

1978Gabriela Margarita Gonzalez & C. Michael Hein

1979Rosa Andrea Tijerina & Ramiro Elizondo, Jr.

1980Jenny Dovalina & Stephen Vela

1981Lisa Guajardo & Gilbert Guajardo

1982Nora Lee Notzon & David Whitworth

1983Lisa Jacobs & Michael David Portman

1984Kimberly Jackson & Elliot Jackson

1985Erika G. Garcia & William Nesbit Hall, III

1986Julia Casso & John H. Keck, Jr.

1987Minnie Dora Haynes & Hector F. Martinez, Jr.

1988Katherine Randal Keck & George Macdonald, III

1989Michelle Bernice Perez & Patricio David Sanchez

1990Kelly Marie Jackson & Carlos Manuel Zaffirini, Jr.

1991Courtney Sames & David W. Killam, Jr.

1992Cristel Castillon & Daniel James Nicholson

1993Kristina A. Rathmell & Joaquin Dario Ramirez

1994Linessa Michelle Zuniga & Jason Macdonald

1995Reine Ann LaMantia & Jeffrey Kane Alexander

1996Meaghan E. Farrell & Joaquin Cigarroa, IV

1997Hannah Laura Treviño & Mercurio Martinez, IV

1998Tiffany Wong & Roger A. Blair

1999Amy Elizabeth Ender & Roberto L. Rathmell

2000Charlotte Sue Jackson & Charles Jerome Averill

2001Casey Ann Zúñiga & Luis Emmanuel Guajardo

2002Alejandra Victoria Bravo & Carroll E. Summers, IV

2003Natalie Angela Notzon & Sabás Zapata IV

2004Madison Victoria Peterson & Austin Alexander Valls

2005Cristina Victoria Palacios & Carlos Antonio Alvarez

2006Andria Josefina Zuñiga & Ruben Anthony Enriquez

2007Raquel Irene Barrientos Cardenas & Luke Bently Lamberth

2008Alexa Anne Treviño & Arturo Thomas Volpe

2009Katrina Nicole Hein & Michael Robert Cerda

2010Madison Grace Rosales & Stephen Cole Weathers

2011Katarina Garcia & Evan Valls

2012Jordann Paris Hale & Ryan Montgomery Moore

2013Isabella Gibson & Edward Henry Maddox

2014Isabella Gonzalez & Frank Riley Puig

2015Valeria Lucia Montemayor & John Roman Galo

2016Anna Victoria Herbig & Michael Casso

2017Ella Alessandra Gonzalez & William Joseph Palumbo III

2018Sofia Gonzalez & Liam Anderson Haynes

2019Riley Olivia Peregoy & Daniel B. Hastings IV

iconfinder_flag-mexico_748137 Mexico

1969Adriana Mounetou Pérez & José Luis Vázquez Costilla

1970Gayle Brittingham & Ignacio G. Montemayor Martínez, Jr.

1971María de la Paz Quintanilla Solís & Alfredo De León Montemayor

1972Diana Montemayor Martínez & Eduardo Luis Garza

1973Ameli Mounetou Pérez & Gerardo Vázquez Costilla

1974Niria Chalay Guarneros Carranza & José Virgilio Guarneros Carranza

1975Sharon Ferrara Theriot & Ernesto Ferrara Theriot

1976Sandra Barrios Castaño & Prisciliano Barrera Guzmán III

1977Elsa Yvette González Basurto & Raúl Sergio Villarreal

1978Susana Bolaños Barrios & Ernesto Casso Carranza

1979María Lourdes Gutiérrez & Eduardo Cañamar Ferrara

1980Mónica Gómez Gutiérrez & Eduardo Cervantes Ramírez

1981Susana Bolaños Barrios & Ernesto Casso Carranza

1982Claudia Vázquez Zebadua & Bernardo Gallegos Treviño

1983Yvonne Cantú & José Eduardo Casso Osornio

1984Claudia Izar Rios & Fernando Rios

1985Irma Mirthala Garza & Jose Covarrubias

1986Liliana Cuellar Garza & Jorge Valdez Ceballos

1987Vanessa Bazán Musquiz & Carlos F. Longoria

1988Adriana Fernández Zaragoza & Ángel Javier Urteaga

1989Gabriela Vázquez Zabadua & Mario Valdez Flores

1990Adriana Melissa Garcia & Manuel E. Garza

1991Cassandra Nile Longoria & Raul Lozano

1992Georgina Garza Ramos & Alejandro Salinas

1993Liz Angélica Sandoval Ramos & Sergio Alberto Vela López

1994Leticia Alejandra Larios & Lauro Luis Guajardo Garcia

1995Melisa Elizabeth Aguayo Girón & Juan Rendón Hinojosa

1996Daniela Torres Vázquez & Basilio Ramos Guajardo

1997Alina Judith Mena Gordillo & Andres F. Ortega Herrera

1998Carolina Denise Vela Lopez & Sergio E. Miranda Chapa

1999Diana A. Ramos Guajardo & Eduardo Torres Garcia

2000Andrea Becerra Enríquez & Jose Jesus Gonzalez Martinez

2001Sarai Betsabe Santana Giron & Eduardo Fabian Cantu Lopez

2002Miriam Graciela González Martínez & Eduardo Cervantes García

2003Rebeca Edith Santana Giron & Juan Eduardo Guarneros Peña

2004Daniela Virgen González & Manuel Elizaldi Barrios

2005Angelica Hinojosa Rodriguez & Maximiliano Ramos Guajardo

2006Andrea Carolina Guerra Chapa & Ariel Sebastián Gomez Lozano

2007Dariela Maria Gomez Lozano & Maximiliano Arguindegui Mounetou

2008Mariajosé Cervantes García & Leopoldo Daniel García Cavazos

2009Sofía Mendoza De la Miyar & Adrian Garza De Hoyos

2010Leticia Carolina Garcia Cavazos & Daniel Octavio Gomez Rechy

2011Paloma Chapa Mendoza & Ernesto Knosel Reina

2012Analia Mounetou Monroy & Alberto Perez Vazquez

2013Maria Resendez Rodriguez & Emilio Lerma Garza

2014Gisella Rosa Carranza Gutierrez & Eduardo Andres Lerma Bazan

2015Alexandra Carriedo Villarreal & Franco Garza Carmona

2016Claudina Patricia Vazquez Gonzalez & Juanmario Barragan

2017Cassandra Cabrera Zamudio & Mateo Cañamar Morales

2018Yvette Garcia Bazan & Tomas Villegas Tomko

2019Miranda Montes Mendoza & Jorge Emiliano Perez Garza