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Celebrating our Sister Cities, Rivers and Lakes 

The people of Illinois have enjoyed a long-time friendship with the people of Latino nations. This warm relationship can be seen in the Sister Cities program and Governor Pat Quinn’s Sister Rivers/Lakes initiative.

Sister Cities

Proposed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 as a way to promote respect and diplomacy, the Sister Cities program brings together people from across the globe. There are now 2,400 Sister City participants, including 40 in Illinois, eight of which are with cities in Hispanic nations.

Meet our hermanas:

  • Bloomington/Normal and Caibarien, Cuba
  • Bloomington/Normal and Remedios, Cuba
  • Chicago and Bogota, Columbia
  • Chicago and Mexico City, Mexico
  • Hanover Park and Valparaiso, Mexico
  • Naperville and Pátzcuaro, Mexico
  • Springfield and San Pedro de Colonias, Mexico
  • Sterling and Canoinhas, Brazil

Sister Rivers/Lakes

Inspired by the success of the Sister Cities concept, then-Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn first proposed “sister” relationships between waterways in Illinois and around the world in 2007. Since then, eight partnerships have been established in which expertise is shared to help face common challenges such as invasive species and sedimentation. Eco-tourism is also promoted.

In April, 2013, Governor Quinn met with officials of Mexico’s Lake Pátzcuaro region to sign the first such “sister” relationship between Illinois and Mexico. Governor Quinn also used the opportunity to promote awareness of Michoacán’s endangered monarch butterflies. And then please learn more about the Lake Pátzcuaro Sister Lake agreement.

In 2012, Governor Quinn was in the port city of Recife, Brazil, to formalize a Sister River pact between the Illinois River and the Capibaribe River.