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Sister Cities

We have established relationships with Sister Cities which benefit the human rights, health, safety, culture and education of the residents of San Rafael.

San Rafael's Sister Cities:
San Rafael Del Norte, Nicaragua
Lonate Pozzolo, Province of Varese, Italy
Falkirk, Scotland
Chiang Mai, Thailand

History of Sister City programs

The national sister city program was established following President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1956 White House Conference on Citizen Diplomacy. The idea for sister cities were one of 42 “People-To-People” initiatives that was formed at the White House Conference.

President Eisenhower’s intention was to involve individuals and organized groups in citizen diplomacy, with the hope that personal relationships, fostered through sister city affiliations, would enhance global understanding and peaceful relations.

The Civic Committee and the National League of Cities provided administrative support for the sister city program until 1973. City participants in the sister city movement recognized that the growing program needed coordination, which led to the establishment of Sister Cities International, the Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization that sanctions sister city affiliations for U.S. cities. Today, 2,500 communities in the U.S. and 126 nations have sister city affiliations.

What is a Sister City relationship?

A sister city affiliation is an official, long-term relationship between two cities or communities in two nations. Sister city affiliations are recognized by Sister Cities International, the nonprofit organization that sanctions affiliations between U.S. and international cities.

A sister city affiliation requires extensive community participation and engagement with a community organization in the partner city. Successful sister city programs facilitate collaboration and exchanges in education, the arts, sports, civic affairs, economic development, and government.

Traveling to one of our Sister Cities?

If you have an upcoming trip to one of our Sister Cities, reach out to their local government, links below, and ask to meet with their Mayor!

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