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On Friday, September 8, the Honorable Mariví Monteserín, Mayor of Avilés and her delegation, Communications Director Carmen Santos, and Cultural Councilor Yolanda Alonso, return to St. Augustine for a diplomatic visit, re-affirming the historic and continuing sisterhood between our two cities in preparation of the 100th anniversary of the collaboration of international relationships between Aviles and St. Augustine, to be celebrated in 2024.
The Sister Cities of St. Augustine and Avilés enjoy a long and rich history, sharing a common heritage that dates to the founding of St. Augustine in 1565 by Pedro Menendez de Avilés.
In August 1924, the City Council of Avilés invited delegates from Florida, most from St. Augustine to attend the burial ceremony of Pedro Menendez de Avilés and to accept his outer coffin as a gift from Avilés to St. Augustine. The outer coffin was shipped and today is on exhibit at Mission Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine and serves as a tangible link of the Spanish founder of our city. The visit of the St. Augustine delegation in 1924 was the first event of decades to come of exchanges of gifts and mementos between both cities.
The City Commission of the City of St. Augustine adopted Resolution 2108 on July 10, 1967, supporting a Sister City relationship between the City of St. Augustine and the City of Avilés for the purpose of creating goodwill and understanding between the people of our two great nations.
Then, in February 2000, a Sister City agreement formalized and reaffirmed the bond between the two cities which continues to flourish through official visits, and cultural exchanges, including student artwork, works of fine art representing each community, traditional choirs, musicians, dancers, and a successful high school student exchange program.
The City of St. Augustine recognizes the Honorable Mariví Monteserín and her delegation for their contributions to the cultural understanding and enrichment of our two cities and welcomes them with open arms.
For media inquiries, contact Melissa Wissel, Communications Director, at 904.293.3307.