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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua and Virginia Beach have had a strong connection through tourism and humanitarian work.
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Welcome to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur is a town on Nicaragua’s southwest coast. It’s known for a string of nearby Pacific beaches, such as Maderas Beach, with its strong-breaking waves, and the quieter Marsella Beach.

Statistics for San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Area (Square Miles):
Official Language:
Resort, Pacific Beaches, Surfing
Largest Occupation:
Tourism, Real Estate

Nicaragua, known as the land of lakes and volcanos, is one of the few hidden treasures of the world. San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua is the largest tourist destination in Nicaragua just like Virginia Beach is the largest tourist destination in Virginia.

In 2013, after several visits with the Nicaraguan Ambassador in Washington DC, Whitt Sessoms, a member of the SCAVB Board of Directors, requested the Sister Cities Association of Virginia Beach consider a “sister cities relationship” with a Nicaraguan City. Whitt Sessoms discussed this with local Nicaraguan leaders and with the help of influential figures in Virginia Beach were able to pinpoint San Juan del Sur as being the perfect location.

The proposal was made to SCABN at their meeting on January 15th, 2013. The motion for the first step to be a “Friendship City” was unanimously approved and Whitt Sessoms was authorized to deliver that message to the Nicaraguan Ambassador.

The first visit was the San Juan Mayoral Delegation’s participation in the City of Virginia Beach’s 50th Anniversary celebration September 18-22, 2013. Mayor Rosa Bello and several other influential officials joined in activities including the Economic Development Forum, the Mayoral Summit, planting of the trees, rededicating the Japanese Asumaya, dedicating two peace benches and the two peace poles as well as the grand finale gala at the Sandler Center for Performing Arts.

Mayor Rosa Bello met with the Virginia Beach local community, responsible to the Sister Cities Association of Virginia Beach, to support future exchanges and activities with the goal of a twinning when City Council approves the Sister City designation to be forwarded to Sister Cities International for the chartering.

In 2014, SCAVB director Whitt Sessoms accompanied Economic Development Director Warren Harris on an exploratory economic/trade mission to look at possible business relationships between San Juan del Sur and Virginian Beach. They also met with the United States Embassy in Managua and Eduardo Holmann for further economic opportunities.

In 2019, The Mayor and her delegates of San Juan del Sur visited Virginia Beach, VA, Graham has led a group of SCAVB youth ambassadors to San Juan del Sur, set up online virtual classes between Nicaraguan Schools, and Schools in Virginia Beach. We have an ongoing student program and relationship with the city of San Juan del Sur. 

The future for Nicaragua is bright. After the pandemic, SCAVB will soon propose to form a committee and continue to go through the proper protocols and steps for San Juan Del Sur to become a chartered Sister City. Nicaragua will soon be on track to graduate from a friendship city to a sister city in the near future.