Lafayette is hosting the French Ambassador this week.
Sunday evening, Philippe Étienne, Ambassador of France to the United States, made a stop here during his tour of Louisiana. He tells KATC he is enjoying his visit.
"The people, the people are so hospitable and there is such a close, friendly, warm relationship between this region and France, through history but also all our cultural and educational programs," he says. "It's really an honor to be here, but it's also a great, great experience."
In collaboration with the Consulate General of France in New Orleans and as part of a diplomatic mission to reinforce long-standing ties between France and Louisiana, Ambassador Étienne is expected to conduct meetings in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans on November 29 and 30 with elected officials and cultural representatives of Louisiana.
Sunday evening he and Mayor-President Josh Guillory presented remarks at a reception in south Lafayette. A release from Guillory said his office and Le Centre International hosted the event to return the hospitality the Ambassador extended to city officials in January 2020 when they were invited to the Ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C.
Tomorrow, the Ambassador is scheduled to visit Myrtle Place Elementary, one of Louisiana’s longest-running French Immersion schools. In conjunction with CODOFIL through its International Associate Teacher program, the French government has supported the teaching of French as a heritage language in Louisiana for over 40 years. Currently, Louisiana hosts teachers from around the French-speaking world in immersion programs serving over 5,000 public school students.
The Ambassador will also meet on Monday with city officials to discuss continued collaboration between the City-Parish and partners in France. Following his visit in Lafayette, Ambassador Étienne will meet with Governor John Bel Edwards in Baton Rouge and Mayor LaToya Cantrell in New Orleans. On Tuesday, he will be present in New Orleans for the signing of a partnership between French broadcaster France 24 and Louisiana French multimedia platform Télé-Louisiane, as well as a ceremony recognizing Louisiana civil rights icon Homer Plessy.