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History

In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower initiated the people-to-people program which is now known as Sister Cities International. His idea was to encourage U.S. citizens to learn more about other peoples and cultures, and to promote peace through personal relationships. Today, over 700 U.S. communities are linked with 1500 partners in 128 countries around the world.

The Merced/Somoto Sister City Committee was formed in 1988 by members of the Merced Central America Support Group, who were matched with Somoto by the Nicaraguan Embassy. We had a friendship relationship for four years and in March 1992 were granted official Sister City status by a unanimous vote of the Merced City Council.