Who we are

The Portland Guadalajara Sister City Association (PGSCA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating and strengthening partnerships and fostering goodwill between the City of Portland, Oregon and the City of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. PGSCA achieves this endeavor through ongoing cultural, educational, and economic development initiatives.

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Portland Sister Cities

Guadalajara was established as a Portland sister city in 1983. The city of Portland has 8 other sister cities and 1 friendship city, including:


Our Mission Statement

Portland Guadalajara Sister City Association's mission is to foster intercultural exchange, promote goodwill, and stimulate economic development between the cities of Guadalajara, Mexico and Portland, United States.

Some of the ways our dedicated board members accomplish this mission includes the development of municipal partnerships between Portland and Guadalajara, providing opportunities for city officials and citizens to experience and explore the culture of Guadalajara through long-term community partnerships, and by creating an atmosphere in which economic and community development can be implemented and strengthened.

Community Giving

Over the years, PGSCA has fiscally supported a number of organizations and causes in the community focusing on education, cultural exchange, the arts and other programs. PGSCA's multi-day Cinco de Mayo Fiesta held at Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park provides the primary source of funding for the organization's charitable and cultural activities. The Cinco de Mayo Fiesta celebrates the richness and diversity of family, culture and community with authentic Latino art, music, dance, cuisine, and handmade crafts.

Highlighted projects accomplished by PGSCA in 2017:

  • Portland-Guadalajara Sister City Beer Collaboration -  Sueño Rosa (“Rose Dream”, brewed in Guadalajara) and Cielito Lindo Saison (“Beautiful Sky”, brewed in Portland) are the result of both cities' shared desire to create a product that represents the twinning relationship. Two master brewers from Guadalajara’s Cerveza Loba and Portland’s Labrewatory traveled to each other's cities to create craft beer recipes featuring local ingredients from both regions. Sueño Rosa won the silver medal for the “fruit beer” category at a 2017 International Craft Beer competition.
  • Digital Door (Puerta Digital) - With support from Intel GDC (Guadalajara Design Center) and Intel Portland, and inspired by the “Europe is just next door” campaign of the SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer), we designed and built two digital doors or “portals” composed of a large viewing screen, wireless connectivity, webcam and audio with the objective of connecting the people of both cities via a life-size communication device. The portable units invite participants to interact in real time in order to experience the latest innovative technologies. This highlights Portland’s “Silicon Forest” and Guadalajara’s “Silicon Valley of Mexico” status. The Digital Door was unveiled at a special event during a visit from Guadalajara’s Mayor.
  • Bomberos Latinos International Academy (Portland Latino Firefighters) - After over two years of planning between Portland’s Bomberos Latinos and the City of Guadalajara Fire Departments, members of Portland Fire & Rescue, led by PGSCA board member Jose Troncoso, created a training school in Guadalajara where 40 Latin American firefighters from the US, Mexico, and Guatemala participated in a week-long course involving the latest equipment and life-saving techniques. Recent Bomberos students were also among the first responders to the September 19th Central Mexico Earthquake and played an important role in the initial relief effort. Stemming from the success of the inaugural training, PGSCA will meet in February 2018 with Guadalajara City officials to formalize the collaboration as the creation of an "International Center for Training of Firefighters and Civil Protection" in Guadalajara.
  • Guadalajara-Portland Sister City Association (GPSCA) Board Creation - in collaboration with the Director of International Relations for the City of Guadalajara, a complementary board was established with the goal of furthering the mission of the Association and elevating sister city collaboration. 20 new board members were selected to form the Guadalajara-based board in order to have a persistent presence in both the cities of Guadalajara and in Portland. The goal of our “sister board” will be to increase productivity and to expand our networks and resources within the City of Guadalajara. 

 
Planned Projects for 2018:

  • Sister City International Summit held in Guadalajara - PGSCA has been asked by the City of Guadalajara to present at this event to the other 175 sister city partners from around the world.
  • Memorandum of Understanding - Through creating an MOU between Universidad de Guadalajara and Portland State University, the participating universities intend to establish a mechanism to facilitate and develop opportunities for educational cooperation and exchange.
  • Portland-Guadalajara Rose Garden - As a re-emergence of this project undertaken years ago, a new Rose Garden will be created in Guadalajara to honor the sister city relationship with Portland. Both cities share the nickname “Rose City.” The location of the  new garden will be within Huentitán Park in Guadalajara , which was decided by the City of Guadalajara Department of Parks and Recreation. Plans and a formal design are soon to be reviewed.
  • Portland-Guadalajara Gastronomic Exchange -  inspired by the success of our beer collaboration, we are planning to invite a top chef from Guadalajara to share techniques with a chef from Portland and vice versa, creating collaborative dishes that highlight ingredients from both regions.
  • Faro de Alejandria - Continue supporting and sponsoring children and young adults with autistic spectrum disorders at the Faro de Alejandría Nuevo Siglo School in Guadalajara.

We support non-profit organizations and causes that meet our community giving criteria. PGSCA's capacity to provide financial support rests primarily on how well we fare with our annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. We will consider requests for financial contributions to organizations that provide support and services in the following areas:

  • Education/Scholarships
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Arts and Athletics
  • International Business/Economic Development
  • Innovative Projects

Below are some of the organizations and causes that have been supported over the years:

Education

  • OALA (Oregon Association of Latino Administrators) $1,000 scholarship
  • Oregon Education Assocation (OEA) received 50% of proceeds from merchandise sales and face painting at our Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
  • Fundación Faro de Alejandria Nuevo Siglo A.C. in Guadalajara receives 50% of proceeds from merchandise sales and face painting at our Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
  • Hispanics in Unity for Oregon - Cesar Chavez Leadership Scholarships
  • Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Scholarships
  • Portland State University's Chicano/Latino Studies Program and Scholarships
  • Oregon Council for Hispanic Advancement (OCHA) LISTOS Alternative School
  • SOL - Somos Orgullosos Latinos Scholarship Program
  • Latinos of Oregon Golf Association (LOGA) Scholarships

Arts & Athletics

  • Miracle Theatre Group arts outreach programs
  • Mexican Women's Art Display at Portland City Hall
  • L.E.A.R.N - Latino Educational and Recreational Network Events and the Oregon Latino Basketball Tournament, 2002
  • Official sponsor of Chivas Soccer Match at PGE Park, 2002

Community Service

  • PGSCA Team and contribution to Race for the Cure
  • Portland Rose Festival and Unsung Heroes Banquet
  • Cascade AIDS Program
  • Hacienda Golf Tournament - Centro de Niños Child Care Center
  • The Mexican Consulate and the Mexican Center
  • Oregon Human Development Corporation's Hispanic Access Center - Naturalization and Education Program

Cultural Exchanges/International Trade

  • Donation of a Fire Truck to the City of Guadalajara
  • Donation of toys for a Guadalajara Childcare center for underprivileged children
  • Translation services & assistance to Northwest medical teams to provide medical care to people injured in the earthquake in Mexico and Financial support to repair and rebuild, 1986
  • Financial contribution to send a team of City of Portland Department of Environmental Services staff to help recovery efforts in the 1993 Guadalajara gas explosion
  • Hosted the Young Ambassadors, 18 youth from Guadalajara who participated in a cultural exchange to Portland; hosted individual foreign exchange students from Guadalajara
  • Hosted Mexican business representatives in several trade missions including the international trade mission in 2000, Semana de Guadalajara in Portland
  • Donation of medical supplies and clothing for Guadalajara's AIDS ministry and financial support for orphanage based in Guadalajara
  • Financial support for a Portland zoo keeper to travel to Guadalajara and to train other zoo keepers
  • Hosted several visits of the Guadalajara Girls Youth Softball team in Portland enabling them to participate in an international softball tournament
  • Portland Oregon Visitor's Association events and brochure: "A Guide to Hispanic Heritage and Culture"