St. Petersburg Launches South of the Border Sister City Relationship
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (April 21, 2106) – As sailing enthusiasts prepare to cast off in St. Petersburg’s annual Regata del Sol al Sol International yachting race to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, tomorrow, April 22, city officials are getting ready to welcome the island location as St. Petersburg’s newest Sister City. Spearheaded by members of St. Petersburg’s International Relations Committee, City Council today approved the first step toward strengthening the relationship to further develop cross-cultural and economic ties between the two cities. Previously, they were under a Friendship City agreement.
Like St. Petersburg’s nearly 60-year relationship with Takamatsu, Japan, Isla Mujeres will share a similar world bond following a formal Sister City signing reception between Mayor Rick Kriseman and Isla Mujeres Mayor Agapita Magana April 28 in Isla Mujeres. Areas of mutual benefit include economic development, the environment and preservation of natural resources, urban planning, arts and culture, tourism, education, public health and transportation. St. Petersburg currently shares Twin, or Friendship, City agreements with its namesake, St. Petersburg, Russia (2003), and Figueres, Spain (2011).
The resort island of Isla Mujeres is located approximately eight miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and is home to 10 municipalities, including the city of Isla Mujeres, which has a population of approximately 12,600. Spanish for Island of the Women, Isla Mujeres is a popular tourist destination, whose beaches offer snorkeling, scuba diving, and a history rich in Mayan culture. The island also offers visitors a glimpse of its strong commitment to marine and aquatic life with the Cancun Underwater Museum and a sea turtle rehabilitation and breeding facility.
Skippers participating in this year’s Regata del Sol al Sol yacht race will launch from near the St. Petersburg Pier at 10 a.m. tomorrow, April 22, for the trip to Isla Mujeres, returning to St. Petersburg May 2.
The St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society, Inc., (SPIFFS), an organization with long-standing support from the city’s international community, has been charged with providing support and future expansion of St. Petersburg’s Sister Cities program. Those with an interest in the Sister Cities program and furthering cultural exchanges within St. Petersburg, including the Student Ambassador program, should contact SPIFFS at 727-552-1896. For more information on St. Petersburg’s Sister Cities program, visit www.stpete.org/culturalrelations.