Welcome to the Escondido Sister City, Inc. We are a non-profit, volunteer organization that promotes cultural, educational, and business exchanges between the cities of Escondido, California and Maebaru, Fukuoka (now known as Itoshima City).
Friendship is the golden thread that ties the hearts of the world together.
Government and business representatives from Maebaru first visited Escondido in 1991, to discuss the possibility of developing a Sister City relationship with Escondido. In a subsequent visit by government and business representatives from Maebaru in 1993, the two cities entered into a "Friendship City Relationship." Since that time, considerable school-to-school communication and goodwill occurred between Escondido’s three Middle Schools and Maebaru’s three Junior High Schools. Local students have embarked on a wide range of learning activities leading to a better understanding of Japan and its people, and have exchanged letters, videos, artwork, and other mementos.
In 1994, Mayor Sid Hollins wrote the Mayor of Maebaru, Yoshihide Haruta, and indicated his willingness to reopen a discussion about a Sister City association. Another delegation including Mayor Haruta visited Escondido in 1995 and subsequently invited Mayor Hollins, Mayor Pro Tem Elmer Cameron, and their spouses to be the guests of Maebaru for a five-day visit. Upon their return from Japan, there was renewed interest in formalizing a Sister City Affiliation with Maebaru. A formal relationship was established between the two cities on July 2, 1996.
According to Mayor Sid Hollins, "This new Sister City Affiliation will allow for an exchange of people, culture, and ideas on a long-term continuing basis. Someone wrote, ‘the more we explore our differences, the more we discover our similarities.’ Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘No individual can live alone, no nation can live alone, and as long as we try, the more we are going to have war in this world. We must either learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we are all going to perish together as fools.’ I believe this applies on a world-wide basis as well as here at home in Escondido."
In accordance with the declaration of a sister city affiliation between the city of Maebaru, Japan and Escondido, California, both cities agree to pursue the promotion of friendship, education, and understanding between both cities. Major emphasis will be placed on youth through:
- Establishment of Pen Pal programs.
- Exchange of student videos, artwork, and handicrafts, etc.
- Encouragement of visits by young people and help arranging cultural and educational opportunities.
- Exhibition of pictures, paintings and other arts and crafts sent and received by the cities.
- Exhibition of special products of each city.
- Encouragement of exchange between civic groups.
- Encouragement of visits by cultural, educational, economic, and administrative representatives of the cities.
- Development of computer contact via the Internet.
Maebaru City is located on Kyushu, the southernmost island of Japan. It has a population of 60,000 residents and enjoys a mild climate all year, quite like Escondido. Major business categories include wholesale/retail services, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transportation, and communication.
The relatively nearby city of Fukuoka (population 1.2 million) provides employment for many residents of Maebaru. Fukuoka is the 8th largest city in Japan and boasts Hakata Port, exporting heavy industrial products such as iron, steel, cement, chemical, and rubber products. Fukuoka is an international gateway to southern Japan and a key jumping-off base for tourism.
Note: Maebaru was a city located in Fukuoka, Japan, and existed from October 1, 1992 to December 31, 2009. A planned merger of municipalities was implemented on January 1, 2010. Maebaru and two towns of the Itoshima District (Nijo and Shima) merged to form the new Itoshima City.
More information about this city can be found at www.city.itoshima.lg.jp/site/prof-en/.
Thank you for your interest in Escondido Sister City, Inc. Participating in the Sister City program is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. If you are interested in volunteering your time and talents or have any suggestions for our organization, please call 760-839-4814.