Students Return from Sister Cities International Cultural Exchange Program


DELRAY BEACH, FL – Seven high school students returned to Delray Beach on Sunday, June 17th after traveling to Miyazu, Japan to live with host families and attend school. The Student Ambassadors representing the City of Delray Beach and participating in the Sister Cities International Program also toured local historically significant gardens, temples and shrines and met with city officials while establishing a cultural understanding and link to youth and adults in Delray Beach’s Sister City. The students (six from Atlantic Community High School; one from American Heritage) who traveled to Japan were: Spenser Anderson, Emma Arrieta, Alex Brandt, Mika Durante, Izaak Lakhia, Phoebe Wiener, and Danielle Zaros.

They were accompanied by Jimmy Mihori, Tony Durante, and Nancy King (with Sister Cities of Delray Beach), as well as Jessica Powers (a teacher at Atlantic Community High School). Prior to their trip, the students met with city officials here in Delray Beach to gain a better understanding of the city. They also learned

Japanese customs and social customs as well as Japanese language, studied the history of the sites they would be visiting in Japan and learned about spreading the importance of cultural understanding and acceptance. Sister Cities of Delray Beach was created by the city commission in April 1977 for the purpose of establishing a Sister City affiliation with Miyazu, Japan. Delray Beach has a significant tie to Miyazu — In the early years of the 20th century, Delray Beach’s “Yamato Colony” was established by a few Japanese farmers. Among them was George Sukeji Morikami whose hometown was Miyazu. George later donated his land to Palm Beach County and today it is home to The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

Sister Cities of Delray Beach promotes friendship and understanding between the citizens of Delray Beach, Florida and our Sister Cities in Miyazu, Japan and Moshi, Tanzania by encouraging cultural, youth, athletic and economic exchanges.