The Second Annual Sausalito Wine Experience was a huge success! Get ready for the third annual 2019 event!
Sausalito is honored to have vibrant “sister city” relationships with three wonderful cities on three separate continents: Sakaide, Japan, Viña del Mar, Chile, and Cascais, Portugal. The purpose and mission of each program is to promote a cross-cultural and economic exchange between the two cities. One 501(c)(3) organization oversees the “councils” from each program, but each relationship has developed a unique identity. All three have forged strong bonds between the residents of their respective “sisters”.
For more information about our program, visit sausalitosistercities.org
Viña del Mar, Chile
Vina Del Mar, Chile (VDM): our oldest Sister City founded in 1960, has been revived aggressively with a Women in Business mentoring program for 40+ small business women in the VDM/Valparaiso region. On alternating years we travel to Chile, holding workshops for their organizations, and the following year, seven women travel to Sausalito for leadership, mentoring and American business exposure. We provide home stay opportunities for these business women, attempting to align them with other women business professionals in similar industries. Our workshops have included building a strategic business plan, marketing, communication, customer outreach and retention, political mentorship and more. As a result AGEPV, the women’s organization we are aligned with, received CL federal funds to stage their 1st Hecho en Valparaiso exhibition, a program they learned from our introduction to SF Made, and Made in Caledonia (our main business street in Sausalito).
This coming year, seven more women from VDM will visit Sausalito. Our initial workshop program in 2016 includes a joint Made in Sausalito/Made in Chile exhibition in conjunction with our local Chamber of Commerce. We are planning to invite local business women to show the way in manufacturing, work space sharing, organic product innovation, and international relationship building with women in business. We are also looking to link AGEPV leadership with some of our entrepreneurial educational programs at UC Berkeley and the LatAM business alliance within the City of San Francisco.
Sakaide, Japan (SAK): a high school student exchange program active for the past 28 years. Every other year we receive Japanese students who home stay and experience American life. The alternative year Sausalito/Marin County high school students home stay in Japanese homes and are ingrained in their culture. We have exchanged 450 students over the years. In 2015 we provided scholarships for seven of the 13 Marin students who visited Sakaide. As part of our Sausalito student program, our teen-aged delegates are encouraged to support the delegation as day captain, take on leadership roles in presentations to our community and in Sakaide or co-chaperon as appropriate. Throughout our annual operations, we encourage past delegates to participate in our Operations Council (OpsCo) which sets and implements our annual agenda, to support our fundraisers, to write news articles, to interview other students being recruited and take an active role in the following years’ home stay for Japan students. We are providing them the opportunity for leadership development that enhances their personal growth and college application criteria.
We hope to increase the number of volunteers in our program and expand volunteer leadership positions. We will be adding a new component to our program – an alumnae English “instructor” will visit Sakaide for 3 months every alternative year to share cultural information. This year is Sausalito’s year to receive Japanese students. We will ensure the student delegation visiting our city will understand the benefits of diversity in our American society in the San Francisco Bay Area and learn more about the people who live here.
Cascais, Portugal: our newest sister city was established in 2013. In conjunction with our Sausalito Youth Sailing Club, and a teaching program at our Sausalito Yacht Club, we have begun a youth sailing exchange. Our first exchange took place in 2015 with seven students from Cascais, visiting Sausalito/Marin county homes with the primary focus of sailing the challenging San Francisco Bay. This July 2016, our Marin County students will travel to Cascais and participate with Cascais’ Clube Naval youth sailing. We believe this is the only Sister City youth sailing exchange program in the US.
2017 Youth Sailing Exchange with representatives of Clube Naval de Cascais and Sausalito Yacht Club marching in the Sausalito 4th of July Parade.
With two years of youth sailing exchange programs successfully executed, we hope to expand this program toinclude more student sailors and further diversify the educational and cultural exchange with Cascais by bringing traditional Portuguese music (Fado) to Sausalito and launching a multi-media artist exchange program. We are also working with the City of Sausalito to install a major public works art project in downtown Sausalito, a Portuguese Calcedas stone compass; a public plaza for all to enjoy that is a tribute to Sausalito’s Portuguese heritage and our sister city relationship.