The Rediscover Rosarito public diplomacy project began as a crisis communication approach to address the negative image of Mexico in the wake of President Calderon's war on drugs. It was initiated by Dr. J. Gregory Payne of Emerson College in Boston, a long-time visitor to the Baja, businessman Hugo Torres, who at the time was mayor of Rosarito, and Ron Raposa, a public relations expert with global experience. Since its inception, this grassroots global effort has been a positive force in bringing back tourists, business, and promoting Rosarito as a tourist site as well as a rich area for educational collaboration.
Grassroots 2.0: Public Diplomacy in the Digital Age
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OUR history
The Rosarito Film Festival is a week-long workshop made possible
through a collaboration of alums, faculty and students of Emerson
College, the RediscoveRosarito Project, the L.A. Internship Program,
Campus Movie Fest, the Rosarito Beach Hotel, and Hugo Torres. The
RFF is a part of Rediscover Rosarito Project, which is a cross-cultural,
public diplomacy initiative that began in 2008.
RFF Participants were selected by Markuz Delgado, the project director. Working in teams, students are given a camera, tripod, microphone, and computer and have one week to shoot and edit a film. All equipment is provided by Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student film festival. RFF films have been shown in cities as an example of how people in the grossroots level can make a difference.

HISTORY OF rosarito 

The original inhabitants of Rosarito Beach were the Kumiai, whose arrowheads and utensils can still be found in the land. They lived undisturbed until the Spaniards arrived in 1533 to establish missions throughout the peninsula. After a political religious decision, the Jesuits were asked to leave. In 1773, the Dominicans and Franciscan monks divided Upper and Lower California using the local mountain range. The Franciscans controlled what is now California and the Dominicans were given Baja California. In the early 1800s, Ranchos were established in Rosarito. On May 14, 1885 the first land title for Rosarito Beach was registered to don Joaquin Machadoin in the capital city of Baja California. This date is now recognized as Rosarito’s Foundation Day.  

Tourists have been visiting the Rosarito area since 1874 for hunting and fishing. But it was not until 1926 that the first hotel, the Rosarito Beach Hotel, was founded, which marked the beginning of an era of tourism for the city. The next few decades shaped what Rosarito has become today. The 1950’s indicated the beginning of urbanization as streets and the construction of restaurants and shops took place. In the 1960’s Rosarito industrialized with a power plant and the installation of a gas company. Further construction and development has been going on since the 70’s with a sharp rise in the late 80’s.  On December 1, 1995, Rosarito converted from a Delegation of Tijuana to the fifth Municipality of the State of Baja California. It is now made up of two Delegations, Plan Libertador and Ejido Primo Tapia. Between these two suburbs, Rosarito contains 40 miles of coastline and more than 100,000 residents.

Source: Sociedad de Historia de Rosarito, A.C. (Rosarito Historical Society)
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