National Day of Prayer was celebrated throughout the Rio Grande Valley last week and to recognize the day, the city of San Juan held a Mayor’s Prayer breakfast at Basilica Café. Present and past mayors for the city, city officials and commissioners were in attendance.

Father Eduardo Ortega from the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle-National Shrine held the prayer and said the theme for National Day of Prayer was hope. “This is an appropriate time to talk about hope,” he said. “We have great gifts here in the community of San Juan; we want great unity in the community.”

Miki McCarthy, executive director of the San Juan Economic Development Corporation, recognized past city mayors for their service to the community.

Recognized were former mayors: San Juanita Sanchez, Roberto Laredo, Arturo Guajardo, Hector Palacios, Juan Maldonado, Abelardo “Lalo” Arcaute and William Lemon.

“We recognize their significance because we would not be here today without the hard work and dedication of others before us,” she said.

Mayor Pedro Contreras addressed the audience and said he is grateful for the past mayors of the city for working hard and said they have grown and learned from each one. “We learn and grow from them, as my father used to say, ‘if it was easy, anyone could do it,’” he said.

Contreras said he wants everyone in the city to work together and be united to make a positive change in the community. “It is our job to make the decisions that will create positive change in the community. It is our job to make you all believers of today’s reality because we are changing our city in a positive way,” he said.

A formal announcement of the relaunching of the San Juan Chamber of Commerce was also made and the five board members introduced. Edgar Ruiz, from the Chamber of Commerce said the relaunching is a good thing for the city and is glad it is back in business. “We look forward to being the advocate for business organizations in the community. It is important for growth and future development,” he said.