Israeli ambassador in Guatemala earlier this week inaugurated a street named "Jerusalem the capital of Israel," which was the twenty seventh street in the country to be named after the city in the past two years.
The ambassador, Matanya Cohen, attended the ceremony in the city of La Gomera, where he was joined by the mayor and local dignitaries.
Guatemala became the second country to do so after the United States, a move initiated by former President Donald Trump. Just two days after the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, former Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales inaugurated the embassy of Guatemala in Jerusalem with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The idea is personal initiative of Ambassador Cohen. "The intention was for the cities of Guatemala to display their friendship with Jerusalem," he said.
"On June 2018, a month after the embassy was relocated to Jerusalem, the first city joined the initiative. Since then, other cities including the capital, Guatemala City -which is the only capital in the world with a street name 'Jerusalem capital of Israel' -joined in," said Cohen.
According to Cohen, he no longer needs to convince the mayors to join the project since more than 50% of Guatemalan residents are evangelical Christians who are very supportive of Israel.
"Former president's decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem did something spiritual to them," said the envoy.
The ambassador also said he received requests from mayors all over Guatemala, and he hopes that by next summer the initiative will have spread to 34 cities, which is 10% of all the cities in the country. "I will arrive personally to each city to inaugurate the new street named after Jerusalem."
Cohen's initiative is now spreading to other countries on the continent, and Israeli Ambassador to Costa Rica Oren Barel has already persuaded four cities in the country to name the streets after Jerusalem.