As the Honorary Vice Chairwoman for Sister Cities International, Second Lady Karen Pence highlighted the sister city relationship between Washington, D.C. and Brasília by hosting a tree planting ceremony at the Espaço Israel Pinheiro, Distrito Federal, in his recent visit to Brazil.

The United States demonstrated its renewed partnership between Washington, D.C. and Brasília with the gift of the White Trumpet Tree, a flowering tree that grows in the southern part of the United States as well as in Brasília. Standing at a podium and near the tree, Mrs. Pence explained to the people of Brazil the importance of strengthening global relationships and the value behind cultural exchanges.

“The tree planting represents, not a single diplomatic event, but an ongoing commitment between our two countries,” said Mrs. Karen Pence. “The roots of this tree represent the individual communities of our two capital cities, Washington, D.C. and Brasília, as well as all sister city links between the United States and Brazil. Our commitment to work together to nurture each other will help us grow a strong foundation of diplomacy that promotes peace through respect, understanding, and cooperation—one individual, one community at a time.”

On behalf of the Mayor of Washington, D.C., the Second Lady also presented Ms. Rollemberg, Brasília First Lady with a book about Washington, D.C. and a globe with the seal of the District of Columbia. In exchange, the First Lady presented Mrs. Pence with a book about Brasilia and a frame containing four mounted tiles well-known to Brasília. The gifts will be delivered to the Mayor’s Office upon return to the United States.

The United States shares 28 sister city or state relationships with Brazil. The relationship between Washington, D.C. and Brasília was formed in 2013.

What is Sister Cities?

A sister city, county, or state relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two countries. A relationship is officially recognized after the highest elected or appointed official from both communities sign off on an agreement to become sister cities.

A city may have any number of sister cities, with community involvement ranging from a half dozen to hundreds of volunteers. In addition to volunteers, sister city organizations can include representatives from nonprofits, municipal governments, the private sector, and other civic organizations.

Each sister city organization is independent and pursues the activities and thematic areas that are important to them and their community including municipal, business, trade, educational, and cultural exchanges and projects with their sister city.

Brazil and U.S. Sister Cities

Besides Washington D.C and Brasília, other sister cities between United States and Brazil are: Atlanta and Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles and Salvador, São Paulo and Miami-Dade County, São Paulo and Chicago, Belo Horizonte and Fort Lauderdale and many others.

Sister Cities International

Founded by President Dwight D. Ei-senhower in 1956, Sister Cities International serves as a hub for institutional knowledge and best practices for citizen diplomacy. The group has united tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in over 500 member communities with over 2,000 partnerships in 145 countries on six continents. You can learn more about Sister Cities International at www.sistercities.org.