The City of Leon in Mexico has long been considered the shoe capital of the world. With a metropolitan area population of about 2 million, it is the largest city in the State of Guanajuato, situated near the center of Mexico. Irving established a Sister Cities relationship with Leon in 1996.
In recognition of the friendship, cultural and trade ties that were formed, Leon Mayor Jorge Obregon-Serrano presented a gift in 1999 to then Irving Mayor Morris Parrish in the form of a statute: “Our Lady of the Shoes.”
This statue is located and displayed in a prominent place in the lobby of Irving’s Human Services Building on Nursery Avenue and Irving Blvd., as noted in the photos. The work of art was, no doubt, inspired by both the proud view of a modest but honorable tradition and legacy that Leon boasts in its leather and shoe industry, as well as Mexico’s sacred and widely venerated patron virgin, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Sister Cities relationship between Irving and Leon has prospered, with countless examples to date of cultural exchanges and trade activities. Leon is a city with a rich history, extensive cultural heritage and tremendous trade potential, all of which serve Irving well in this relationship.
The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce is proud to continue seeking and promoting trade potential for positive economic impact for both communities, and representing the City of Irving in its Sister Cities relationship with Leon.