Tue August 9, 2011
Meet Austin's New Friend: Jacmel, Haiti
A Haitian city devastated by the 2010 earthquake has been designated as Austin's newest "Friendship City". Mayor Lee Leffingwell says Jacmel, Haiti has a lot in common with the Live Music Capital. It's a creative city, famous for its arts scene, film institute and scenic beauty.
Friendship cities are supposed to foster cooperation between their respective residents and businesses. It's not quite as big a deal as the "Sister City" designation, which typically involves more collaboration between local governments and a more formalized agreement.
Jacmel (pronounced zhak-MEL) is home to Haiti's only film school, Cine Institute. Students there have already partnered with an Austin non-profit called Students of the World to document the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and its efforts in Haiti's reconstruction. The Austin Film Society says that it looks forward to developing a creative relationship with Cine Institute.
“Austin can have a strong presence in the reconstruction of Haiti," Mayor Leffingwell said in a press release. "I believe the continued relief efforts can use our relationship with Jacmel and promote other Friendship Cities between Haiti and the United States."
You can see a photo gallery of Jacmel here.