During the commemoration of “Senior Citizens' Day,” at which he was accompanied by his wife, Angélica Rivera de Peña, the president explained some of the actions the government is implementing to protect senior citizens.
FIRST: The “65 and over” Program expanded the incorporation of beneficiaries, since previously, the program attended people over the age of 70.
SECOND: In favor of senior citizens in extreme poverty, and through community kitchens, “60,000 seniors receive food every day, and have the opportunity to have a space where they can socialize and meet with people from their own community.”
THIRD: Support for seniors through the PROSPERA Program, designed to, “Support those living in conditions of the greatest backwardness” and in which, “We wish to break away from a purely welfare-based orientation so that those who are beneficiaries of PROSPERA will be able to find, within the support they receive, a way to engage in a productive activity.”
In other words, he added, “So that they do not remain in that condition that makes them subjects of these programs, and are able to evolve,” and take a step towards improving their current quality of life.
FOURTH: The productive links scheme run by the National Institute of Senior Citizens. “What we want is to link them to areas when they can fulfill themselves, either through cultural activities, or for them to find a niche, where today, at this stage of their lives, they can implement a productive project that will enable them to feel they can achieve changes in our society,” he said.
The president declared that the government is working to ensure that, “Mexico is a better scenario and a country that opens up more spaces for our children, our youth and present and future society."
He stressed that among these actions, there is a fundamental issue: Education. “We want to make education a pillar of change and transformation of our society, to allow our children and young people receive a higher quality education that will prepare them for the great challenges to be faced in an increasingly demanding world and where the labor market will demand higher skills and better training to be part of it,” he said.
He said that in the president, “Our seniors have a strong ally, someone will invariably support you, because I am the first to acknowledge your efforts and legacy for the society we have today.”
Therefore, he added, “The programs we have will continue to focus on supporting our senior citizens.”
At the event, held at the National Museum of Anthropology, President Peña Nieto also thanked the artisans of Mexico, “Who work with emotion, commitment, imagination and creativity to make beautiful works that project the cultural richness of our country.”
The President presented an award and 26 certificates of merit to the winners of the National Competition entitled “Enduring Mexican Art 2015,” in the categories of pottery, textiles, fibers, metalwork and jewelry, lacquer and varnish, folk painting, paper and cardboard, wood carving, and toys.
On his arrival at the museum, President Peña Nieto received three ritual objects: a sochipayo or ceremonial sash, a ritual offering and a ceremonial gourd.
THE WORLD RECOGNIZES ENRIQUE PEÑA NIETO AS A PRESIDENT WHO IS TRANSFORMING MEXICO: JOSÉ ANTONIO MEADE
José Antonio Meade, Secretary of Social Development, thanked President Enrique Peña Nieto for inviting him to join his team, now as head of SEDESOL, after being Secretary of Foreign Affairs, when he had the privilege of touring the world and see how regards Enrique Peña Nieto as a president who is transforming Mexico.
He said that the ceremony to mark Senior Citizens’ Day is his first public event as Secretary of SEDESOL, as well as being Enrique de la Madrid Cordero’s first day as Secretary of Tourism. For both of them, this was their first event in their new roles, at which they discussed the importance of craftsmanship in the different areas of national life: in tourism, the economy, wealth creation, generating prosperity and traditions.
José Antonio Meade recalled that, when he was Foreign Secretary, “When someone from another country visited us, we always thought a great deal about what we could give them. And at the end of the day, we always ended up choosing a craft item to give them.”
He explained that, “Behind every craft item there is a life; a life that is reflected in their symbols, iconography, their expressions and the way our artisans make different materials speak.”
I FEEL VERY PROUD TO BE A CRAFTSMAN; AGE HAS GIVEN ME THE EXPERIENCE TO BE ABLE TO SHARE IT: JUAN ZEFERINO RIVERA
Juan Zeferino Rivera, the winner of the National Handicrafts Award who hails from the state of Guerrero , thanked President Enrique Peña Nieto and his wife, Angélica Rivera de Pena, for celebrating seniors, “For spending our day with us,” and at the same time, for the certificates of merit given by the craftsmen.
He said: “I feel very proud to be a craftsman, and I know that age has given me the experience to share with my children, to instill in them our roots and the teachings of our elders.”
He told the president: “I’m happy to see that today several of you are wearing dresses and clothes that identify our land and our origin.” He went on to explain that, “With great respect, I would like to say, Mr. President, that your wife looks very nice in that blouse and that it would be a source of pride for all of us to always wear one of our garments, because I think it is a good thing for Mexicans to always remember our origins.”
Regarding the award he received for his craftsmanship, he explained that, “When I was making my craft item, I was thinking about winning a prize, but I never imagined it would be chosen as the best, far less that my trade would give me the opportunity to come here and meet you.”