FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2023
Delegation from Friendship City Huehuetenango, Guatemala to Visit Charlottesville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – A delegation from Huehuetenango, Guatemala, Charlottesville’s Friendship City, will be visiting Charlottesville from November 12-14, 2023. Hosted by the City of Charlottesville and the Charlottesville Sister Cities Commission, the goal of the delegation’s visit is to forge initial ties between the government and citizens of Charlottesville and Huehuetenango. Mayor Gustavo Cano, Yeni Noelia Ramos Ramírez de Cano, and Counselor Maritza Rios will be representing Huehuetenango’s government. The Huehuetenango Delegation will meet with Charlottesville government and civic leaders, while also touring the city and surrounding areas to learn more about its history and culture. Tours of Buford Middle School, the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library Central Branch, UVA’s Center for Politics, and Monticello are part of the visitors’ packed agenda. A representative from the Charlottesville Sister Cities Commission visited Huehuetenango in 2022, but this delegation visit is Huehuetenango’s first since the relationship began in 2021.
Two events are open to the public and provide the opportunity to meet the Huehuetenango Delegation members:
- Coffee Open House, Tuesday, November 14, 9:00 – 11:00, Omni Hotel (212 Ridge McIntire Rd, Charlottesville, VA): An open house to learn more about Charlottesville’s Sister and Friendship Cities, as well as an opportunity to meet the delegation and drink free Guatemalan coffee brought from Huehuetenango. (Free parking at the Omni)
- Public Reception and Program, Wednesday, November 15, 6:00 PM – 7:30 pm, City Space (100 Fifth St NE, Charlottesville, VA): This event will be the culmination of the trip with the signing of the Friendship declaration between Charlottesville Mayor Lloyd Snook and Huehuetenango Mayor Gustavo Cano. The event will feature Marimba Music, a short program featuring words of friendship and welcome between the two cities and a choral arrangement from CHS ensemble.
One event is open to the press, but not the general public:
- Welcoming Meet & Greet, Monday, November 12, 5:00 – 6:00 PM, UVA Fralin Museum (155 Rugby Rd, Charlottesville, VA): This event is the first time members of the Charlottesville Sister Cities Commission, the University of Virginia, Ixtatan Foundation, and City government officials will meet delegation members for the first time and see the Mayan pottery exhibit.
Note: Translators will be made available during all events
Charlottesville – Huehuetenango Relationship
Charlottesville became Friendship Cities with Huehuetenango in 2021 due, in part, to a desire to explore a bond with a Spanish-speaking country, but also to explore a partnership with a town with a strong Charlottesville connection. The Ixtatán Foundation, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit, began in Charlottesville and was developed with the goal of creating the first high school in San Mateo Ixtatán, a small town in the province of Huehuetenango. The organization has since grown and has built a connection between the capital Huehuetenango and the city of Charlottesville. A Friendship City is often used as a first stage in forming a relationship between two cities, becoming Sister Cities after the relationship is strengthened and cities are sure they want to pursue a long-term relationship.
Edward Herring & Claire Denton-Spalding
Chair & Vice Chair of Sister Cities Commission
City of Charlottesville