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Jewel City gets a new sister

The city of Glendale has a new sister city. This time, it’s Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic.

Glendale City Council members approved the new agreement on Tuesday.

The Dominican Republic Consul General has an office in Glendale in the 500 block of North Brand Boulevard. It relocated about five years ago from San Francisco.

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Dan Bell, the city’s community relations coordinator, said the Consul General office had requested a closer relationship between Glendale and the Dominican Republic.

Also, Glendale served as a host city last July to the Dominican Republic team during the World Games of the Special Olympics.

"[It was] a great honor and a wonderful experience,” Bell said.

The city also hosted teams from Armenia and Bonaire.

Then, a few months ago, councilman Vartan Gharpetian met with the General Consul, Celeste Peña.

“We talked about issues in the Dominican Republic as well as in our country, and we were talking about which city would best to be in this sister city program,” Gharpetian said.

Santiago de los Caballeros was brought up as a possible good match with Glendale because of the cultural, political, industrial and financial centers that they have, he added.

Gharpetian then requested that city staff work on a report about forming a sister city agreement with Santiago de los Caballeros.

Peña said both Glendale and Santiago de los Caballeros are communities with hard-working people.

"[For] the five years that we’ve been here, we have been witnesses of the hard work of the citizens of Glendale, and we’ve admired how that’s been reflected in their prosperity and the well-being of the city, and, for us, it has been an example and it fills us with pride to be part of the community,” she said through translator Ron Lizardo, communication director for the Consul office.

She added that residents of Santiago de los Caballeros are also known for being very loyal.

"[It’s] known as the heart city,” she said.

Cultural exchanges will be part of the new sister city arrangement as well as finding solutions to common challenges facing both cities.

Glendale already has sister city ties with seven other cities throughout the world — Higashiosaka, Japan; Tiaquepaque, Mexico; Rosarito, Mexico; Ghapan, Armenia; Goseong, South Korea; Gimpo, South Korea and Gyumri, Armenia.

To finalize the new sister city agreement, representatives from Santiago de los Cabelleros and the Dominican Republic Consul General’s local office will take part in a ceremony with local officials at 2 p.m. on Sunday in Central Park, 201 E. Colorado St., Glendale.

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Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com

Twitter: @LAMarkKellam


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