Barranquilla Mayor Elsa Noguera De La Espriella and Tampa’s Bob Buckhorn. (Image courtesy of the city of Tampa.)
I keep up on general news (especially music-related) coming out of Barranquilla, Colombia, because it’s where my parents are from. I love going there for the annual carnival, which I wrote about for Sounds and Colours. It’s QUITE the party.
So you can imagine my surprise when I received a press release today about Barranquilla’s sister city in the United States. Because that city is Tampa. Tampa? Yes, Tampa.
Apparently, Barranquilla and Tampa have been sister cities since 1966. The two cities agreed to collaborate through the “Sister Cities” program “for the mutual benefit of their citizens and communities by exploring educational, economic and cultural opportunities.” (By the way, for you random trivia buffs, Tampa is also the Sister City of: LeHavre, France, Oviedo, Spain, Vera Cruz/Boca del Rio, Mexico, Izmir, Turkey, Agrigento, Italy, and Ashdod, Israel.)
Apparently the “Sister Cities” thing isn’t a permanent affair because on Dec. 6, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn joined Barranquilla Mayor Elsa Noguera De La Espriella to reaffirm the Sister Cities partnership. Buckhorn presented Noguera De La Espriella with a painting of Old City Hall by local artist Arnold Martinez as a gift.