Learn About Boulder's Sister City Program

The City of Boulder has formed meaningful relationships with ten cities internationally, fostering a spirit of respect & cooperation.

Overview

For over 20 years Boulder's Sister Cities program has developed meaningful relationships with several communities internationally. Together, we've shown the importance of respect and cooperation between cultures that can sometimes seem worlds apart.

The program is made up of volunteers who believe that through mutual respect and cooperation, people worlds apart can form relationships that foster peace and prosperity. The idea that it's possible to make big changes from small steps.

About Boulder's Sister Cities

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Our friendship with Dushanbe was born during the Cold War and has survived the break-up of the Soviet Union, civil war, and the painful birth of a new nation. With goals of international friendship, peace and understanding, the people of Dushanbe gave Boulder a magnificent Tajik Teahouse in 1987. The Dushanbe Teahouse is now a Boulder institution and is visited by more than 100,000 people annually.

Since our community has benefited and valued from our gift, we've sought out ways to return the favor. In 2009, Boulder began construction on the Cyber Café and Friendship Center in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. It's dedicated to the people of Dushanbe on behalf of the people of Boulder.

Contact Information
Dushanbe Sister Cities
720-771-3149
info@boulder-dushanbe.org

Jalapa, Nicaragua

Friendship City Projects

The Jalapa Valley in Nicaragua was a war zone throughout the 1980s but is now a place of peace. Today, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, and Jalapa is representative of that poverty. The people of Boulder have worked with the Jalapa community for more than 30 years on sustainable, cooperative projects that have brought clean water to destitute rural communities, empowered women through co-op programs, fostered education programs for adults and children, and many other projects.

Friendship City Projects is a sister city organization that works with the people of Boulder and Jalapa to promote these projects and the understanding between two very different countries.

Boulder Jalapa Friendship City Projects, Inc. is dedicated to building peace and understanding between the people of Nicaragua and Colorado. Friendship City Projects, Inc. funds projects that have a social contract to create community and work for the greater good of its residents and fosters people-to-people diplomacy through organizing delegations to and from Nicaragua. The project provides the framework which enables skilled volunteers to work in the Jalapa region of Nicaragua providing direct services and/or technical assistance.

Contact Information
Philip Wegener, Treasurer
info@boulderjalapa.org

Boulder-Jalapa Friendship Cities Project
PO Box 7452
Boulder, CO, 80306-7452
303-444-8414

Alternate contact:
Zuza Bohley
zuzabohley@gmail.com
720-606-3117

More information at www.boulderjalapa.org

Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu is an ancient city with unique Newari architecture and centuries-old Hindu and Buddhist religious sites. Entering Kathmandu is like going into another world that everybody should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Kathmandu is known as the City of temples as people say once there were more temples than people who lived in Kathmandu then. Different styles of temples like pagoda, Shikhar, and stupas are found all around Kathmandu Valley. The grandeur of the past--exquisitely carved wooden window frames, 18th-century bronze sculptures, or spiritually uplifting stupas-- enchants the visitors. The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 meters (4,600 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal.

Kathmandu is not only the capital of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal but also the hub of the country’s economy and culture. It is the gateway of tourism in Nepal which is rich in Cultural Heritages and architectural sites. The unique cultural and ethnic diversity, in Kathmandu, attract people with its awesome spiritual and physical climate.

Contact Information
Boulder-Kathmandu Sister City Project
c/o Narayan Shrestha
948 Pearl Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
(303) 345 3143
helpinghands715@gmail.com

Kisumu, Kenya

Kisumu was established in April 2009. Kisumu is located in Western Kenya on the shores of Lake Victoria 15 miles south of the Equator and is the capital of Kenya's Nyanza Province. Sister City Programs assist Kisumu's vulnerable populations through sales of Free Trade goods.

Projects

  • Khudo School Water & Sanitation
  • Migosi Market/Trading Center Sanitation Facility
  • Oasis of Hope Secondary School Sanitation Block
  • Rabuor Primary School Orphan Feeding Program

Contact Information
Boulder Kisumu Sister City Committee
Darryl Brown, Chair
1401 Adonis Court, Lafayette, CO 80026
720-384-7189
admin@boulderkisumu.org

Lhasa, Tibet

Boulder-Lhasa Sister City Project is a public charity formed in 1986. We develop and implement non-political exchanges of mutual benefit with Lhasa, Tibet, including surrounding areas, in health care, education, environmental protection, science & technology, agriculture & animal husbandry, and culture & art. Boulder is Tibet's only sister city in the United States. Lhasa is located in Asia, 300 miles northeast of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

The City of Boulder established its relationship with Manté, Mexico with a ceremony on Jan. 17, 2000, in Manté, a city of 117,000 people. Manté is located about 280 miles south of Brownsville, Texas, in the gulf coast state of Tamaulipas.

Contact Information
Boulder-Lhasa Sister City Project
c/o Bill Warnock
776 Cottage Lane
Boulder, CO 80304
Phone: (303) 443-9863
info@boulder-tibet.org
More information at www.boulder-tibet.org

Manté, Mexico

The City of Boulder established its relationship with Manté, Mexico with a ceremony on Jan. 17, 2000, in Manté, a city of 117,000 people. Manté is located about 280 miles south of Brownsville, Texas, in the gulf coast state of Tamaulipas.

The Boulder-Manté Sister City relationship is an outgrowth of an annual medical mission to Manté developed by Boulder Community Hospital. The intent of the relationship is to expand the opportunity for residents of both Boulder and Manté to know one another and to share according to the resources and abilities of each community.

In 2010, the City of Boulder honored Boulder Community Hospital for its 20th annual medical campaign to Manté and honored the 10th anniversary of the Boulder-Manté Sister City Committee. Likewise, the City of Boulder sent greetings to Manté on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Mexico's independence.

While violence in the northwest part of Mexico has led to a temporary suspension of exchanges between our two communities, the Boulder-Manté Sister City Committee has expressed to the residents of Manté that "Our Sister City relationship is a long term relationship--as often said in wedding vows: through good times and bad."

Contact Information
Manté, Mexico Sister City Project
Norris Hermsmeyer
P. O. Box 1426
Boulder, CO 80306
Phone: (303) 442-6611

More information at http://boulder-mante.org

Nablus, Palestine

The Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project fosters relationships through cultural, educational and professional exchanges, inspiring lifelong friendships that promote understanding and peace through person-to-person “citizen diplomacy.”

Some ongoing projects that endeavor to connect residents of both cities are:

  • Early Readers Program — Supporting publishing of Palestinian children’s stories

  • Student to Student Pen Pal — engaging classes of students to get to know each other through pairing with same-aged students in each city

  • Yoga Teacher Training — training yoga teachers in Nablus

  • Exchanges — hosting visitors from Nablus and bringing delegations to Nablus to build professional and personal relationships and areas of collaboration and partnership

  • Volunteering — supporting students and other Boulderites to offer community service in Nablus

  • And more, there is much discussion of additional projects and we welcome your involvement and input, please join us!

Nablus (sometimes called Nābulus) is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately 63 kilometers (39 mi) north of Jerusalem, with a population of 134,000. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.

There are a number of historic monuments in the old city including the Khan al-Tujjar and the al-Manara Clock Tower built in 1906. Nablus is a commercial trade center dealing in traditional industries such as the production of soap, olive oil, and handicrafts. Other industries include furniture production, tile production, stone quarrying, textile manufacturing and leather tanning. The city is also a regional trading center for live produce. Most of these industries are centered in the old city.

Contact Information

Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project
Essrea Cherin, Board Chair
4500 19th Street
Boulder, CO 80304
303-506-7889
info@bouldernablus.org
More information at www.facebook.com/BoulderNablusSisterCity

Ramat HaNegev, Israel

Ramat HaNegev is located in the Negev desert in southern Israel and encompasses 22% of the country’s total land area. With a current population of less than 10,000, the residents of the Ramat HaNegev live predominantly in Kibbutzim, Moshavim, and small farming communities.

The Ramat HaNegev region was along the ancient Nabataean Incense Route, and there are Nabatean ruins scattered throughout the region. Within the region, there are several national parks, unique geographical/geological areas, and ancient Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Roman, and Nebatean archeological sites.

We have launched several programs connecting Boulder to Ramat HaNegev, including people-to-people delegation visits between the two regions, an immersive language and kibbutz experience in Ramat HaNegev, pairing the tech start-up culture of the two regions, and collaboration between the University of Colorado and Ben Gurion University.

Contact Information
Lexi Adler, Executive Director
215-668-3970
alexis.adler@bouldernegev.org

More information at www.bouldernegev.org

Yamagata, Japan

The Sister City relationship between the residents of Boulder, Colorado and Yamagata, Japan has brought us together to eat, work and dance, to learn and exchange culture, people and gifts. Above all though, the experiences from this relationship allow us to grow as residents, enabling us to educate our family, friends and neighbors, increasing tolerance and harmony.

To increase international understanding, Boulder Channel 8 cooperates with the Yamagata Broadcasting Company by exchanging local television broadcast film footage.

Yamagata is located in northwest Japan in the prefecture of the same name. The city sits in a valley surrounded by mountains, and the region gets some of the heaviest snowfalls in Japan during the winter. There are about 250,000 residents, and Yamagata is only three hours from Tokyo by bullet train.

Contact Information
Boulder Yamagata City Friendship Committee
c/o Eiko Kato Fisher
1192 Ravenwood Rd., Boulder, CO 80303
(303) 499-6988

Yateras, Cuba

We are proud to be one of the most active of the seven sister city organizations. We're divided into five committees: Arts & Education, Environment & Sustainability, Sports, Music & Dance and Health --our most active committee. With these five branches, we hope to promote a spirit of cooperation, respect and understanding by exchange of culture, and most importantly a helping hand.

Our projects have ranged from hurricane aid to art exchanges, library renovations to putting on a 7K foot race, and from refurbishing a women's center to donating health supplies.

Yateras, located in the province of Guanatánamo, the easternmost province of Cuba, is a municipality or township consisting of several small towns and agricultural land. Like Boulder, Yateras is a mountainous region, but unlike Boulder, Yateras’ tropical landscape features swaying palms, citrus trees and coffee plants.

The entire municipality has a population of about 20,000 people, most of whom are engaged in agriculture. The main products are coffee, citrus fruit and bananas. The largest town in Yateras is Palenque, with a population of 5,000. The word “palenque” refers to a settlement created by run-away slaves, and in the slave era there were several of these small settlements in the remote and inaccessible mountains of Yateras. Today the population is a mix of the descendants of the original Taino Indians, African slaves, Spanish settlers, French coffee planters, and immigrants from the neighboring islands of Haiti and Jamaica.

The cultural diversity of the region gave birth to a type of music unique to the area, “changüi”, which features the Spanish-influenced guitar, African marimbula and bongos, and Indian maracas and guayo.

Contact Information
Boulder-Cuba Sister City Organization
c/o Spenser Havlick
665 Emporia Road
Boulder, CO 80305
bocusco@yahoo.com

How to Participate

Sign Up to Volunteer

The Boulder Sister City program is always looking for new volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, contact the City Clerk's Office at 303-441-3008 and we will help you reach out to respective nonprofit sister city groups here in Boulder.

Propose a New Sister City

For information about how to propose a new sister city, see Council Resolution 631 or ask about the City Council's role in sister city relationships, contact the City Clerk's Office at 303-441-3008. Also, see Res 631 Amended PDF

Sister City Plaza

Plaza History

For over 20 years we've developed meaningful relationships with several communities internationally. Together, we've shown the importance of respect and cooperation between cultures that can sometimes seem worlds apart.

In 2007 the Sister City Plaza was dedicated in an effort to commemorate the efforts of everyone involved. With the help of the Boulder Sister City Alliance, we developed a space that celebrates seven Sister Cities: Dushanbe, Tajikistan; Jalapa, Nicaragua; Kisumu, Kenya; Lhasa, Tibet; Mante, Mexico; Yamagata, Japan and Yateras, Cuba. A new sister city with Nablus was added in Dec. 13, 2016, and does not yet have a stone marker.

Plaza Description

The Sister City Plaza was built in downtown Boulder, on the east lawn of the Municipal Building. It's made up of artistic stone and metal inlay squares. Each square represents unique geographic and economic features exclusive to each region. The plaza design also includes seating areas, entry columns, lighting and low-water landscaping, and an herb garden with plants common to those areas. A delegation from Yamagata, Japan came to Boulder in April of 2007 and gifted 50 cherry trees to the City, several of which are planted in the plaza area.

The City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department is proud to be a part of a state-wide Plant Select® Program with the addition of our Sister City Plant Select® Garden at the plaza. This garden was planted in the spring of 2007 and will grow and change through the years as new Plant Select® Plants are added! Landscaping Plant Select® is a cooperative program administered by Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University in concert with horticulturists and nurseries throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. The purpose of Plant Select® is to seek out, identify and distribute the very best plants for landscapes and gardens from the intermountain region to the high plains of Colorado.