Located at the mouth of the Yalu River, Dandong is opposite North Korea. Like Wilmington, Dandong is a port city, but has a much larger population – more than 2.4 million, with an urban population of over 700,000. Its manufacturing base includes paper, oakleaf silk, chemicals, medicines, machinery and cement. One of Dandong’s landmarks is Hushan Great Wall, which marks the eastern end of the Ming Dynasty’s extension to the Great Wall. Dandong was Wilmington’s first Sister City (1986) and had an active teacher exchange program for several years with UNCW students going to Dandong for yearlong assignments.
Learn more about Dandong by visiting:
Doncaster is the 15th largest population center in the UK and is in close proximity to Sheffield. Doncaster was the site of a Roman fort which was built in the 1st century A.D. It flourished as a mining town until the 1970s-1980s. Since then Doncaster has reinvented itself, primarily as a commercial and leisure center, and is well known for horse racing. Doncaster was established as Wilmington’s second Sister City in 1989.
The Grainger Junior Cup Tournament has been a successful youth exchange between the two cities for ten years. In 2006, Saint Mary School in Wilmington formed an exchange with the Saint Mary Primary School in Doncaster involving both schools second grade students.
Learn more about Doncaster by visiting:
A Sister City relationship was established with Bridgetown in 2004, reconnecting the two cities that have historical ties. Some of the first settlers in the Cape Fear Region were from Barbados. Bridgetown is the capital and commercial center of Barbados and has a population of about 110,000. Located on the Caribbean Sea, the city was founded by the British in 1628 and is a major West Indies tourist destination. The city acts as an important financial and convention center in the Caribbean.
Learn more about Bridgetown by visiting:
San Pedro, Belize
San Pedro became Wilmington’s fourth Sister City in 2007. San Pedro is located on Ambergis Caye 36 miles north of Belize City. Home to 10,000 residents, Ambergis Caye stretches 25 miles north to south. Its eastern beach is a half mile from the Belize Barrier Reef. Its economy is based almost entirely on tourism. San Pedro town – named for Saint Peter, patron saint of fisherman – sprang up in the mid-1800s as a refuge for Mestizos (mixed Spanish and Maya) fleeing the Yucatan’s War of Caste. Today, fishing, diving, and snorkeling are major attractions for tourists, in addition to the tranquil beauty of its unique ecosystem. The U.S. Consulate for Belize is a local resident in New Hanover County.
Learn more about San Pedro by visiting: