Logos Hope's crewmembers received special treatment when they were invited by Merida’s Mayor, Abogada (Lawyer) Maria Dolores Fritz Sierra, for a special reception at Progreso's municipal palace.
One of the ship's senior leaders, Randy Grebe (USA), said, “We were delighted to receive such an invitation. We were blessed to be able to bring 150 crewmembers, along with the ship's captain, Dirk Colenbrander (Netherlands) plus his wife and children. We enjoyed an authentic Mexican meal together with the mayor, her husband and other government officials.”
Randy explained that the crew felt like they were royalty as they walked onto the second floor veranda where an elaborate three-course meal was served. Each table was hosted by government employees and the Ministry of Tourism had arranged for traditional Mexican dancers to provide entertainment. From the veranda, guests could look out over the city square and enjoy the scene of carriages, live music and bustling local life below.
Nele Bärsch (Germany) who is part of the ship's advance preparation team, reflected, “From the balcony, you could see parts of the old town square and the cathedral. Progreso is a beautiful city. Abogada Fritz Sierra came in we were already seated and she came to greet several tables. She wanted to show her appreciation to us." Another crewmember, Ewald Driedger (Paraguay) said he felt very welcome and that the evening was a lot of fun. He, along with other crewmembers, appreciated the reception's food, the Mexican dancers and the beautiful setting.
Abogada Fritz Sierra came to the official opening of Logos Hope in the port of Progreso the following day. Randy said, “We were honoured to have her attend our official opening. She, along with the Mayor of Progreso and the Governor of the Yucatan state were our guests of honour. I had great pleasure meeting her and having an extended conversation about her work, her city and family.” Abogada Fritz Sierra told those gathered that she was overwhelmed by how 400 people from more than 60 nationalities could live together in unity. She also shared her great excitement about such a vessel spending time in her local port.