More than a library

Logos Hope received a celebratory welcome into port in Coatzacoalcos after a two-day voyage from Tampico. As well as the ship being greeted by water cannons spraying in an arc from the port entrance, crewmembers were joined on the outer decks by the city’s mayor, who boarded the vessel along with the harbour pilot to experience the arrival for himself.

Once the ship was securely berthed and ready to receive the public, the mayor was back – along with other local dignitaries – to attend the official opening of the bookfair. The guests and Logos Hope’s leaders spoke of their shared expectations for the coming weeks the crew will spend in Coatzacoalcos. The visitors appeared impressed by the various national costumes worn by crewmembers, who introduced themselves in their native languages as well as in Spanish. Logos Hope’s director, Pil-Hun Park (South Korea), also addressed the gathering in Spanish.

Pil-Hun shared some of the secrets of living in an international community; mentioning the need to understand others’ points of view, act selflessly and consider others before yourself. The audience laughed as they heard that World Cup football was currently a threat to harmonious living, with cabinmates supporting rival teams. On a more serious note, Pil-Hun said, “We are very excited to be in Coatzacoalcos.”

Mayor Victor Manuel Carranza Rosaldo spoke of how special his arrival into port on board Logos Hope had been, and he expressed a warm welcome to the ship’s crewmembers. “We want to open our doors to all and be aware of others’ richness,” he said. Mayor Carranza said the multicultural and unified way of life on board was an example to the city. “We need to seek this great community that you have,” he concluded.

Moving to the Visitor Experience Deck, the ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally open the bookfair to the public was performed as local people and the media looked on. Guests and ship officials then browsed the store, where Director Pil-Hun insisted the guests of honour should each choose one book which they would receive as a gift from Logos Hope.

The head of the port authority, Director Marcos Cesar Theurel Cotero, explained that he sees the ship as much more than a library. “It brings good will, it is a true global cause,” he said. There is a buzz of anticipation as people look forward to the impact the ship’s crew will have on Coatzacoalcos and the surrounding area in the coming weeks.

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