HOLTVILLE — Rita Vargas Torregrosa, consul at Calexico's Mexican consulate for the past four years, was feted Thursday night by Imperial and Mexicali valley dignitaries at the Barbara Worth Golf Resort.
Vargas has been promoted by the Mexican government to another California consulate. She asked that the name of her new consulate be withheld until Tuesday.
Moving north away from her extended family in Mexicali will be bittersweet.
"I have 19 cousins that live there and aunts," she said.
She will miss the "tremendous people of the Imperial Valley.
"Everybody: dignitaries, co-workers, friends and family. I was very happy in this area," she said.
Vargas moved to the Valley in 1997 to run Mexico's Calexico consulate. In her four years here, hundreds of Mexican immigrants have died trying to cross into the U.S.
Every time there was a big incident she was called.
"Sometimes I would wake up at night, worried, because I remembered I had to be in court the next day (for an immigration-related case)," she said.