Lagoa prepares to be twinned with Dartmouth in the US
Lagoa and Dartmouth, in the US state of Massachusetts, are preparing a twinning agreement. The process began in March 2018, when the Lagoa executive was invited by their twin city of Lagoa dos Açores, in the Azores, to attend the Sister Cities Meeting in Massachusetts, USA.
At that time, “several meetings were held by both executives”. After that, it was the turn of Dartmouth mayor Shawn McDonald to visit Portugal last October 1st. The representative of the American town was received by Luís Encarnação, Mayor of Lagoa, for a welcoming presentation, an exchange of memories and town history, and analysis of common ground between Dartmouth and Lagoa.
The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after the Second World War, was intended to foster friendship and understanding among different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, and to encourage trade and tourism. By the 2000s, town twinning became increasingly used to form strategic international business links among member cities
According to Lagoa Council, “the mayor of Dartmouth visited for a week, with the objective of getting to know the best of Lagoa, its touristic produce, its gastronomy, and wines, from golf to sun and beach, as well as the whole material and immaterial cultural component”.
During this visit, “the principles of the future twinning protocol were agreed upon, after the presentation of both councils and their potential and ways of working through joint initiatives”, adds the Lagoa municipality.
For Luís Encarnação, “this will not just be another twinning, but it aims at very clear and delineated objectives based on economic interaction, tourism promotion in an extremely important market, in which Lagoa wants to position itself, policies aimed at education and culture, as well as in the field of public governance”.
Lagoa Council reveals that “some of the intentions of this twinning include developing scholarship programs for students from Lagoa at UMASS Dartmouth Marine Biology University, and UMASS Dartmouth School of Innovation, as well as student and teacher exchange projects.”
It is also foreseen that the twinning will involve the creation of a professional internship program for Lagoa students, and the promotion of Lagoa in the American market, to attract investments.
The Council expects the formalization of the Dartmouth-Lagoa Twinning to take place in March 2020, in the United States.