The Snoqualmie Sister City Association (SCCA) was busy in 2016 and says it will be even busier in 2017.
According to a recent press release, the SCCA seeks to promote what former President Dwight Eisenhower called “citizen diplomacy” – contacts between people from different countries aimed at building world peace, person by person, and making partnerships for mutual benefit.
Snoqualmie currently has two sister cities: Ganjin in the Republic of (South) Korea and Chaclacayo in the Peru. The park on Maple Avenue SE, next to the Snoqualmie City Hall, was dedicated to the two cities cities in 2016 – a year when SSCA and host families welcomed students from both Ganjin and Chaclcayo AND Snoqualmie Valley students also visited both sister cities.
Time for 2017 Exchanges!
Just this week host families once again welcomed Peruvian students. Six sister city students arrived on January 28th and started at Mount Si on Monday. The students will also enjoy some local activities with their host families – like the Snoqualmie Falls hike and seeing the trains.
SCCA Board Member Krista Gordon said the kids really enjoy seeing the rain and/or snow here because it so rarely rains [or snows] in Chaclacayo, a desert town about the same distance from Lima as Snoqualmie is from Seattle.
Snoqualmie Mayor Larson officially welcomed the Peruvian students at a City Hall ceremony on February 1st. Then at the February 13th city council meeting, the mayor will present Mount Si High School senior Peyton Smothers with the 2017 Snoqualmie Sister City Association’s Youth Ambassador Award.
Korean exchange students are expected this August for their 2017 exchange. SSACA is actively seeking hosts for these students. Host families are provided a $1,100 stipend per two students, plus a Family Seattle CityPASS, to help defray expenses. The CityPass provides free admission to the Space Needle, Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour and many other attractions.
Board member Krista Gordon says:
“Citizen Diplomacy is something everyone can do and make a difference in the world. I can help foreign students reduce their accents in speaking American English so that’s a fun way for me to contribute to international communication. Contributions help on-going programs such as student exchange so everyone can get involved.”
People interested in SSCA membership or families interested in hosting foreign students for their approximate month-long visits can find more info on the Snoqualmie Sister Cities Facebook page. [SSCA is a “5013c” charity. Donations are tax-deductible and board members say they are always welcomed.]