Welcome to the Sausalito-Viña del Mar program.

The purpose and mission of the Viña del Mar Sausalito Sister City program is to promote a cross-cultural and economic exchange between the two cities.

We are exploring opportunities to re-establish a pen pal program between school children in both cities and we are exploring an artist exchange program.

About the Program:


7 Days, 7 Women, 7 Dreams

The cornerstone of the Viña del Mar Sister City program is the women in business mentoring program. In 2013, a group of Sausalito women entrepreneurs, led by the Mayor, traveled to Viña del Mar in conjunction with International Day of the Woman celebrations. At that time, we connected with AGEP (Asociación Gremial de Empresarias y Profesionales), a group of women business owners in the Viña del Mar/Valparaiso region. The Sausalito group held seminars and workshops for AGEP where they exchanged information and ideas on such topics as leadership, business growth and development.

Later that year, a delegation from AGEP came to Sausalito. Since dubbed “7 days, 7 Women, 7 Dreams”, the program will soon see its third group of women from Viña visiting Sausalito, where they stay with resident hosts. In the first two years, their itinerary included a wide range of business and cultural programs including a private meeting with Isabel Allende, touring the California wine country and workshops on such topics as marketing, financial responsibility and empowerment.

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A tradition has developed whereby delegates from Sausalito visit Chile one year, and the following year, delegates from Chile come to Sausalito. The impact of these exchanges has been powerful. In October, 2015 AGEP held the first of what promises to be an annual event: “Hecho en Valparaiso” (Made in Valparaiso), a two-day exhibition that featured over 60 mostly women-owned businesses. Held in a grand tent in one of the downtown plazas in “Valpo”, the free to the public event showcased the businesses, and featured speakers on topics such as availability of local financing, marketing internationally, and overcoming obstacles for small businesses. The delegates from Sausalito had a table in the tent where we “showed off” our town of Sausalito. In addition, the Sausalito Marine Mammal Center had a table. The previous year, a veterinarian from Viña del Mar, Mauricio Ulloa, had spent six months interning at the Center. He is hoping to establish a similar center in Chile and our program is offering his project our support.

AGEP is a group of women business owners in the Viña del Mar/Valparaiso region. Learn more on their website.

Program and City Histories:

HistoryIn 1960, Sausalito and Viña del Mar became sister cities. To honor this relationship, Sausalito’s main square was named Viña del Mar Plaza. Viña del Mar in return, named its soccer stadium Estadio Sausalito. The huge stadium is adjacent to Parque Sausalito, in the neighborhood called Sausalito. In 1968, renowned Chilean sculptor Sergio Castillo, a native of Viña del Mar, donated a sculpture to Sausalito called “La Hermandad” which means sisterhood in Spanish. It was recently refurbished and stands today in Gabrielson Park along the Sausalito waterfront.

Despite this very auspicious start, for several decades, the Viña del Mar sister city program languished with little attention. The 50th anniversary of the relationship in 2010 prompted a revitalization of the program. Then, in 2011, a delegation from Viña del Mar, including Mayor Virginia Reginato, visited Sausalito. Soon after, a formal (all volunteer) Operations Council was formed and integrated into the non-profit Sausalito Sister City Committee, Inc.

In 2012, then-Sausalito Mayor Herb Weiner traveled to Viña del Mar for a special ceremony in Parque Sausalito where a plaque was dedicated commemorating the sister city relationship. Since then, Sausalito has hosted dignitaries from Viña del Mar, and local delegates from Sausalito have made several trips to Viña del Mar. We have developed a strong relationship with AGEP, a women’s business group based in Viña del Mar and Valparaiso. And as part of our artist exchange, German von Appen from Chile was invited to exhibit at the 2013 Sausalito Art Festival. Plans are now underway to develop an exchange program to bring more artists from Viña del Mar to Sausalito as well as showcasing Sausalito artists in Viña del Mar.

The two cities also have a pen pal program between Willow Creek Academy students in Sausalito and students at Colegio Sagrada Familia in Viña del Mar. This cross-cultural dialogue helps young people become better-informed global citizens.

About-the-City-of-VinaViña del Mar (meaning “Vineyard of the Sea”), is on Chile’s Pacific coast. Often referred to as “La Ciudad Jardín” (“The Garden City”), Viña del Mar is located within the Valparaíso Region. It is Chile’s fourth largest city with a population of over 300,000.

Viña del Mar is known for its placid resorts, malls, extensive coastal high buildings, hotels and various entertainment venues. Like Sausalito, the city attracts a wide variety of national as well as international visitors throughout the year.

Viña del Mar and Sausalito share other similarities in that they are both near major ports (Sausalito near Oakland and San Francisco and Viña del Mar near Valparaiso) and both are gateways to beautiful wine regions. Sausalito visitors can easily reach the world renowned Napa and Sonoma Valleys and Viña del Mar is next to the beautiful Casablanca region, which is fast becoming known for its beautiful vistas, bountiful vineyards and delicious wines.

About the City of SausalitoSausalito is one of the top 20 destinations for tourists in America today. It is the first city on the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County and has a population of 7099. Built facing the Bay, its terrain consists of steep, wooded hillsides and shoreline tidal flats.

Its history has included fishing and being a shipbuilding center during World War II and a center for the music industry. It has three houseboat communities, a rich community life, and a strong business and food sector with well-known restaurants. It is a haven for boat building, yachting, and the artistic community. It has a well-renown prestigious Annual Art Festival in September and caters to tourists who visit by car, bus, ferry and cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge.