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Riverbank Contingent Visits Sister City Tamazula
Riverbank officials and residents are full of stories about the Mexican city of Tamazula and their visit to what is now their sister city.

A highlight of the Sept. 16 to Sept. 23 trip was sliding on a steel cable across a canyon in an adventure park, their experience enhanced by the rain, thunder and lightning of a sudden storm.

Those bold enough to try the trip are strapped into individual harnesses and slide by gravity on an exhilarating ride where there is no stopping and no going back, City Personnel Officer Al Zamora noted.

The Riverbank visitors dressed lightly for forecasts of a sunny day but a sudden thunderstorm descended and caught them in the mountains.

For the signing of the sister city proclamation, the visit was timed to coincide with Tamazula's annual festival and Mexico's Declaration of Independence on Sept. 15. That day Tamazula's Mayor Julio Gonzalez, known as "El Presidente," joined in an official ceremony with Riverbank's Vice Mayor Virginia Madueno, Councilmember Sandra Benitez and City Manager Rich Holmer.

Other representatives of Riverbank along for the trip were Chamber of Commerce President Vicki Peters, Pam Floyd of Riverbank Unified School District Board, City Clerk Linda Abid-Cummings, Zamora, local teacher Rosie Ramos and husband Jorge and a photographer, Dean Camara and his wife Rocio.

Holmer praised the plaza typical of a Mexican city where the community gathers most evenings to socialize and enjoy stage entertainment provided by dancers, musicians and other artists. The plaza is so large, he estimated it could hold 2,000 people or more.

Their visits included one to a sugar mill, which is the second largest in Mexico, several churches, a cultural center, the local university, several haciendas or ranches, a rodeo, a physical rehabilitation clinic, a domestic abuse refuge and a large dam building project at the confluence of three rivers.