Sister Cities International

  • October 5, 2018

Sister Cities is an international organization that brings cities, cultures and people together.

La Cañada is fortunate enough to be a Sister City with Villanueva de la Cañada, a city in Spain that is near Madrid. Villanueva de La Cañada essentially has the European equivalent of JPL, which is another bonus for being Sister Cities with La Cañada.

When official documents are signed by the cities’ mayors, the cities are agreeing to form a long-lasting relationship with one another. Sister Cities agreements between cities bring many exciting opportunities, such as exchange trips and leadership summits. When two cities become sisters, that means that they both agree to exchange cultures and maintain a diplomatic relationship.

Sister Cities are matched with each other based on factors such as population size, languages spoken in the cities, number of and types of schools in the cities and local culture.

For senior Jack Applebaum, the president of Sister Cities for La Cañada, the best part of being president is being able to learn about other cultures and having new and different experiences. Jack has been in Sister Cities since he was a sophomore.

Jack had the chance to go on an exchange trip to Villanueva de la Cañada during the summer of 2017. There, he attended a city festival that lasted for four days, and he had the chance to meet some new people there.

One year later, Jack also went to one of the leadership summits in Aurora, Colorado. At the leadership summit, the main goal was to teach students there the importance of cooperation and teamwork. The topics of the summit were immigration and immigration reform.

Grace Fontes, a sophomore from Mayfield Senior School, has been involved in Sister Cities for about one year. She said that “the best part of the entire summit for me was meeting new people. It was overall one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

Senior Christian Chung was very inspired and moved by his trip to Spain over the summer as a Student Ambassador, and that made him want to become more involved with the Sister Cities Youth Group. Christian said he also got involved because “becoming a global citizen is an important goal students should strive for. It’s an important part of maturation and education to understand, if not appreciate, what is outside our vicinity.”

The Executive Board for Sister Cities also includes other members including Tomas Quiroz, David Kim, and Justin Knapp. Tomas and Christian are the two vice presidents, David is the treasurer, Grace is the secretary and Justin in charge of membership.

Quarterly meetings are held in the La Cañada Community Center in the afternoon. The next three meetings will be held on December 2nd, February 10th, and April 14th. All meetings will begin at 3 pm, and the first one will be held in a private home, where students will learn how to cook Spanish food.

If you are interested in joining or have any questions, feel free to contact any of the officers on the Executive Board. Jack Applebaum can be reached at For more information, visit


Art by Iris Seo.

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