Luca Ciotoli is a city council member in Sestri and was instrumental in working on the Italian side for a successful exchange this year. This is the first homestay youth exchange between Santa Cruz and Sestri Levante in about 30 years, and we are looking forward to supporting continued Sister Cities exchanges. Santa Cruz and the greater Sestri Levante community have historical ties, as fishing families from Sestri Levante and nearby Riva Trigoso settled in Santa Cruz in the early 20th century. After the completion of the exchange, Luca wrote:
“The first edition of the Y.A.S. scholarship, a cultural exchange project organized by the municipality of Sestri Levante in collaboration with the community of Santa Cruz, has just ended.
“Giovanni and Elisa, winners of the scholarship, have thus transformed the migration route of our ancestors into a journey of education and knowledge.
“A heartfelt thanks to all those who collaborated on the project, from the community of Santa Cruz to all the people and associations in our area who welcomed the boys of the exchange with a warmth that we find hard to imagine.”
Thank you, Luca, and thank you to all of our donors who helped make this happen!