OUR MISSION is to enhance international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural, and humanitarian activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences directly among peoples of different countries and diverse cultures. We are a local chapter of People to People International.
For almost 50 years, we have been a sister city/county with Warabi, Japan. Initially started in preparation for the Bicenntennial in 1976, our county and the city of Warabi mutually agreed to share their cultures through exchanges.
We are planning a visit to Warabi in the Fall, 2025 to celebrate our 50th Anniversary with our Sister City. Consider joining us soon to guarantee your opportunity to participate.
We are also hosting our Sister City in the Spring/Summer 2025 as part of the 50th Anniversary.
Youth Program to be held again in Summer, 2024
Beginning in 2003, Warabi suggested a youth exchange as they believed the youth are our mutual future so the first group of El Dorado County youths traveled to Warabi and we have hosted Japanese youths also. Our most recent exchange occured the summer of 2018 when 20 youths participated in a youth summit for 12 days.
We will be planning an exchange with Japanese youth coming here in the Summer 2024. We will be looking for host families, preferably with teenage or pre-teenage children. If you are interested, please contact Janet Sambucetti, 530 306 1948 or firstname.lastname@example.org - Application is below.
Host family youths will be able to participate in all the planned activities with the Japanese youths. We will be organizing the activities during this school year and would like to have the US youths help design and plan the week for our guests. The only cost to the families except meals and accommodations and whatever host family activities you choose to do. Our local chapter of People to People sponsors the activities for the summit.
Then following our visit here, we will send 15-20 youths to Warabi, Japan to participate in their youth summit. The cost would be the flight (approximately $1,200 - 1,500) and all other expenses are paid for by our Sister City (Warabi). We are also looking for sponsors to help youths who may not be able to afford the cost of the flight.
(Application link below - you can use an editable PDF if you have Adobe Reader DC (which is free).
You can get it here: https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/acrobat/pdf-reader.html
One of our members, Marlyn Pino-Jones hosted our welcome party for our Warabi guests with an amazing array of delicious finger foods and wine provided by Ceilo Estate Winery, Bumgarner Winery, and Lewis Grace Winery. Delectable juices were provided by Barsotti Ranch.
As part of the exchange visit, our Warabi guests and some of our members spent two days in Monterey/Carmel. The weather was perfect, the visit to the Carmel Mission was informative and peaceful, followed by a Mediterranean dinner.
Our group toured Monterey and experienced a very interesting tour of Colton Hall, where California's first Constitution was drafted in October 1849. We also spent time at Cannery Row, many having a delicious seafood meal.
Our organization along with our Sister City Association hosted a booth at the Wakafest 150 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Wakamatsu Colony, the first Japanese colony in the U.S.
The time spent with host families creates a lifelong friendship. The stories shared about the different places everyone visited (Tahoe, Wine-tasting, San Francisco, Sacramento Train Museum, etc) always makes for an enjoyable converation.
Of course, the Sayonara Party is one of joy and sadness but we always have a fun time. The generous Barsotti Family allowed us to have the party in their beautiful backyard with music by Gene Lane and Hideo Motohashi on the saxophone.
Myrna Hanses has been instrumental in establishing our sister city connection and maintaining it over the past 49 years. Without her direction, guidance and perserverance, we would not still be in existence.
We have shared many cultural experiences over the past 49 years and have learned much about each other. Our sister city connection has deepened our friendship, our understanding of each other's cultures, and our appreciaton of the need for these connections to maintain a peaceful world.
The first Japanese colony established in California was the Wakamatsu Colony. A young girl, Okei, came with the third group but died after only a few years. She is buried on a hillside overlooking Gold Trail School and we connect with Aizuwakamatsu, the land where the colony originated.
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We are always open to new members and would like to invite you to become a part of our family. Membership includes being a part of People to People International and our county chapter.
10179 Carriage Road, Grass Valley, California 95949, United States