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The Yakima-Morelia Sister City Association is a non-profit organization promoting mutual understanding and the sharing of cultural diversity by facilitating interaction in social, cultural, artistic, economic, and educational areas.

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  • Promote an awareness of YMSCA by the sponsorship of/or support of cross-cultural public events such as festivals, forums, concerts, shows, art exhibits, etc.

  • Promote community programs and strategies serving agriculture, artistic, culinary, educational, cultural, social services and other related interest of the community.

  • Promote an atmosphere where people, especially the young people, can become more knowledgeable and understand their respective cultures and the implications of living in a diverse, global society.

  •  Promote the mutual economic vitality of the two communities with focus on business, trade environments and tourism.

  •  Coordinate a program of delegation exchanges between the two communities.


Sister cities, also known as friendship towns, go back to the end of World War I when some English and French towns decided to partner together for their mutual benefit. 

Their goal is to increase global cooperation at the municipal level, to promote cultural understanding and to stimulate private business and economic development.



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Donald Bender


Don Bender grew up in Pullman Washington and moved to live in Yakima with his wife of 36 years, who is from Sinaloa Mexico, Luz Bender. He feels so blessed to have been gifted with her language and culture. He is closing out a deeply satisfying teaching career as an educator of migrant and bilingual children, their families, and teachers. 


Margaret Luera


 Margaret cares about our community and work to promote positive cultural educational experiences. She enjoys sharing the rich culture and customs of our Sister City Morelia with our community; and in turn sharing our culture and customs with the people of Morelia. 


Noe Gutierrez


Noe enjoys representing Yakima on delegation trips to Morelia and working with both of our communities to become more knowledgeable and understanding of each other. It’s important to share educational opportunities and to cultivate economic opportunities for the betterment of both our communities. 


Clara Eustis

 Vice President

Clara has served on the board and as an officer for over 12 years. She retired from the Yakima Valley Libraries in 2010 after serving as librarian in Selah and Yakima. She has had the privileged to visit Morelia and witness events like the Monarch butterfly migration and the Dia de los Muertos celebration.

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Charles Johnson


Charles has served on the board and as an officer for over 14 years, he is a retired executive from Tree Top Inc. He and his wife Julie have traveled to many of the cities of Mexico and they love the culture, art, music, history, food and yes, the Tequila.

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