THE SANTA BARBARA/PUERTO VALLARTA SISTER CITY COMMITTEE program is a direct cultural and social exchange between Santa Barbara, California, USA and Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. Our committee was established in 1972 through the efforts of local city officials and interested citizens. The founders were Richard Hidalgo City Councilmember, Barry Cappello City Attorney, Frank Arguelles, Howard Goldman, Antonio Molina and Gregorio Romallo.
THE SISTER CITY PROGRAM is a living legacy left by the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He conceived the program and initiated it in 1956. The Sister City Program is a dedication of friendship and understanding between peoples of different cultures and attitudes to those of us engaged in the program it is discovery, it is adventure, it is a new dimension of self-awareness, and awareness of others....and it is FUN!
THE SANTA BARBARA GROUP is a member of Sister Cities International. Puerto Vallarta was chosen because of comparable features and population, commerce, tourism, etc. But the main grass-roots strength of the Sister City movement rests on the people-to-people programs, and the direct contact activity of the individual Sister Cities. These range through cultural (art and music), athletic, student, professional, industrial and commercial exchanges of every form all arranged directly by those engaged in the individual programs.
A yearly highlight of the committee is the winter sojourn to Puerto Vallarta. A significant number of members usually make the ten-day visit. We get a chance to see firsthand what our efforts are producing. Our members become enchanted with this beautiful city and its friendly people.
Many lasting friendships are made across the border due to these visitations. In return, our friends from Puerto Vallarta come to Santa Barbara during our annual celebration of Old Spanish Days in August and we look forward to the opportunity to returning the hospitality and show them our lovely city, share our homes, and camaraderie.
At present, the Santa Barbara/Puerto Vallarta Sister City Committee has the largest membership of all the Santa Barbara Sister Cities. Our sister city organization consists of a diverse variety of individuals. We conduct monthly general meetings in the form of dinners with the focus usually on a specific program. The purpose of these meetings is to perpetuate the group by keeping all informed on current programs, and to maintain a high level of interest. We have a board of directors who meet monthly to plan programs, and share in decision making. Through our board of directors, committees are formed to carry out the various programs.
The sister city program is a dedication of friendship and understanding between people of different cultures and attitudes to those who engage in the program. It creates an awareness of our "south-of-the-border" neighbor, and the opportunity to enrich our lives, as well as those of our sister city. If you want to help and/or become a member of our group, please feel free to contact one of our board members and get involved with us.