Mayor Hugo Torres
Former Mayor of Rosarito, Hugo Torres, is a charismatic leader and has a plan to make Rosarito a safe, culture-rich city where the streets are full of tourists enjoying the Rosarito area. Hugo Torres said that he “doesn’t want any tourists to go back angry” and will do all that he can to create the best experience possible for everyone who visits his city. Presidente Torres wants to create a better quality of tourism, a better Rosarito, and thinks it begins with creating better people from the beginning—and providing opportunities to the children of Rosarito. He spoke with us about providing them opportunities to participate in sports, dance, music, and art. To accomplish this, he has focused on safety and explained the experiences Rosarito police went through to prove their allegiance to safety (and not drug cartels). Presidente Torres explained the cooperation of the ARMY, Federales, Rosarito Police, Felipe Calderon and the five municipalities and how for the first time they are working together to create a safe tourist destination and future for the children of the city. Hugo Torres plans to make Rosarito a culture-rich city where the streets are full of locals and visitors enjoying the Rosarito area. Mr. Torres, his staff, and the city's specially trained police force are focused on creating the best experience possible for everyone who visits. He also desires to create a better future for the children of Rosarito, by providing them opportunities to participate in sports, dance, music, and art, and by creating a sustainable economy.
Laura Torres is the president of the Rosarito Beach Hotel & Motel Association. She also serves as the executive director of the Rosarito Beach Hotel—a job her family is quite familiar with. Laura is the daughter of Presidente Hugo Torres and describes her family as quiet and non-extroverted. We spoke with Laura about Rosarito’s glamorous history, the decline in tourism, and the potential Rosarito has for a bright future. Above all, she stated that this was a two-nation issue. The drug problem in Baja is undeniable; but is, also, a supply and demand issue. With some organization, planning, and communication: Rosarito’s burritos, bars, art galleries, vineyards, surfing , and beaches could once again be packed with tourists looking to experience authentic Mexican culture.
Emerson alum Linda Welby welcomed us to the west coast with open arms! We talked with Linda about the situation in Rosarito, the media coverage this issue has received, and gained the perspective of a Southern California mother—who happens to speak to the people of San Diego everyday over the airwaves. Our time with Linda set us off on the right foot—to answer the questions of and allay the fears of potential tourists to the area.
Anne Hines is the president of the United Society of Baja California and a Canadian ex-patriot. The ex-patriot is living in Rosarito and is deeply involved in their community. It is clear she cares about the future of Rosarito Beach and was able to give us insight as to the volunteer opportunities with which one can become involved, the media’s spin on events in the area, and shared why they chose Rosarito as the community to retire in and care about. Anne told us that “Americans do things here they’d never do at home…they leave their brains at the border. Some people are afraid, but there is nothing to be afraid of.”
Lora Wong is the president of the Rosarito Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau and serves as the editor of the Baja times—a local newspaper in Rosarito. Lora was able to give us insight into the events Baja is known for, such as: the October Lobster Festival and the vineyards a few miles away in Ensenada. She also spoke candidly with us about the safety of Rosarito and the media attention her city has recently gained. Lora told us that a few incidents had occurred, but they were actively working to prevent a reoccurrence in the future. She said she feels safe on the streets of Rosarito and that this is a great place to get an authentic “taste of Mexico traditions—Latin style.”
Charly Kimm told us “if somebody wants to be useful, there are plenty of things to do.” Charly is the president of the Roja Cruz (Red Cross) volunteers and explained the history of this organization in Rosarito. She shared the stories of some of the groups affected by the recent negative media coverage. When we asked Charly what Rosarito needs, she told us “we need you to come back and play. Ride the horses [on the beach]. Eat the food. Have fun.”