St. Petersburg is getting a new Sister City: Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
The City Council approved the move Thursday, adding the resort island to the Sister City program that already includes Takamatsu, Japan. Before becoming a sister city, Isla Mujeres had been on the “Friendship City” list alongside St. Petersburg, Russia and Figueres, Spain.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Isla Mujeres Mayor Agapita Magana plan to make the move official with a signing reception in Isla Mujeres April 28.
City officials said adding Isla Mujeres as a Sister City will strengthen the cultural and economic ties between the two municipalities, and that St. Pete and Isla Mujeres could mutually benefit in the areas of economic development, the environment and preservation of natural resources, urban planning, arts and culture, tourism, education, public health and transportation.
Isla Mujeres is located about 8 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and has a population of 12,600. The island has a history rich in Mayan culture and is a popular tourist attraction for snorkelers, divers and beachgoers.
The island city also serves as the final destination for the Regata del Sol al Sol, an annual yachting race that will start off near the St. Petersburg Pier at 10 a.m. Friday.