South Lake Tahoe, California - The City of South Lake Tahoe is on its way to becoming the Sister City with the City of Ameca, State of Jalisco, Mexico. This will be the first Sister City for South Lake Tahoe since its former relationship with Baikalsk, Russia ended.
On August 20, long-time local resident and educator Tere Tibbets brought the subject to the City Council and the process to become a Sister City began. Los Mexicanos Restaurant owner Victor Mora had the idea and worked with Tibbetts to bring it to fruition.
Many residents of South Lake Tahoe have a relationship with the community in Mexico. Tere estimates 70 percent of the local Latino population already has a connection with Ameca. "I feel great," said Tibbetts after the Council's unanimous vote as she fought back tears of joy.
On October 15 a formal agreement will be signed between the two cities, a meeting where the Ameca president (the equivalent of a U.S. mayor) is expected to attend. Mora said to expect a party after that happens.
Ameca has a strong commercial agriculture and livestock economy. They produce sugar, have a large Coca-Cola distributor branch and have artisan and craft businesses with several involved in the production of bricks, tortillas, carpentry, bakeries, and saddlery.
Ameca also has a large number of shops of various kinds, which are an important part of the economy. Tequila plantations make up part of Ameca's economy, mostly for private farmers. The city's motto is "Nobility, Work and Progress."
Ameca is home to various well-known service organizations such as the Red Cross, the Rotary Club, Lions Club and several other charities. They also have highly rated schools including two colleges.
The city of Ameca is bisected by the Ameca River which drains to the Pacific Ocean near Puerto Vallarta. It is also approximately 50 miles from the state capital and one of Mexico's largest commercial centers, Guadalajara.
The Sister City Program, administered by Sister Cities International (SCI), was founded in 1956 by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The founding principles of the Sister City movement were to encourage direct personal contact by establishing greater friendships between cities in the United States and cities in other nations through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.
Today, SCI represents sister city programs of more than 1,100 U.S cities and their 2,000 partners in more than 120 countries worldwide. SCI is the premier organization for citizen diplomacy in the United States and leads the national movement for local community development and volunteer action in the global arena.
SCI motivates and empowers municipal officials, volunteers, and youth to conduct long-term programs of mutual benefit and interest with their sister city counterparts abroad.