Sister-city relationship between San Benito and Belize City

vlcsnap-2013-03-02-10h55m55s24In an historic first on Friday afternoon, a sister-city relationship between municipalities of Belize and Guatemala was agreed, at a time when the neighbouring countries are in bitter dispute over their territorial boundaries. Earlier this year, Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley and a team visited San Benito, Petén, Guatemala at the invitation of its Mayor, Sonia Rivera. Mayor Rivera and her councillors, accompanied by delegates from the Guatemalan National Congress and government officials, have now returned the favour and formally signed documents on Friday marking the start of a sister-city relationship between San Benito and Belize City. In his address Mayor Bradley emphasized the common links between the two cities – for instance, San Benito was in fact founded by a group of Belizeans, and Mayor Rivera’s daughter goes to school here in Belize. The San Benito Mayor also has relations in the village of Cotton Tree in Cayo, and once lived here for seventeen years, while former Deputy Mayor Dion Leslie’s grandmother hails from San Benito. Mayor Bradley told the gathering that even as nationally the two countries remain in dispute, opportunities can be found for local partnerships. The Guatemalan delegation made stops earlier on Friday in Benque Viejo, San Ignacio and Belmopan and there is hope for possible sister-city relations between these municipalities and corresponding ones in Guatemala, most notably Melchor de Mencos, Almolunga, Santa Elena and even Guatemala City

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