Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey and Pedro Palacios Ullauri, Mayor of the City of Cuenca in Ecuador, signed a new sister city agreement Friday.
The sister city partnership, the first of its kind between a Westchester County municipality and a non-European city, recognizes the significance and necessity for global interaction, as well as the interest in deepening the ties of friendship and cooperation that unite both Peekskill and Cuenca.
The cities intend to develop mutual cooperation activities that stem from the history they share in common. This history goes back to the sizable community of former Cuenca residents that reside in the Peekskill, as well as the extensive community of North Americans citizens living in Cuenca.
“I encourage any Peekskill group with an interest in connecting with similar groups in Cuenca, whether for educational, cultural or business purposes, to get involved in this project,” Rainey said. “I thank the volunteers for their leadership, especially Luis Coronel, president of the Peekskill and Cuenca Sister Cities Corporation.”
Located in the province of Azuay in the Republic of Ecuador, the City of Cuenca is situated in the Andes mountains. Similar to Peekskill, Cuenca is known for its waterfront and local artisans.
The new partnership will be led by the Peekskill and Cuenca Sister Cities Corporation, an association of local businesses and leaders, who will plan events and programs for both locations. These collaborative activities will focus on areas related to tourism and the economy, sports and recreation, as well as identity and culture.
“The signing of this agreement will officially welcome the Cuencanos already living on Peekskill and our visiting family members,” said Luis Coronel, president of the Peekskill and Cuenca Sister Cities Corporation. “Cuenca and Peekskill will become the second home to every citizen from both these cities. They are encouraged to make plans to visit as many times as they would want, to grow and build our communities together.”