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Map depicting Chile on the western coast of South America

La Serena

Sister City relationship between the County of Hawai‘i and La Serena was established on November 30, 1994.  La Serena, home of Gemini’s southern twin telescope, is a beachside city located in northern Chile.  An important tourist destination because of its beaches, its population doubles during the summer.  La Serena is also home to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of La Serena, one of five Catholic Archdioceses of the Catholic Church in Chile.

During a visit in 1994 by Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm Smith to participate in theAerial of Chilean observatories groundbreaking of the Gemini telescope, Mrs. Smith brought a letter from Adriana Penafiel Villafane, Mayor of La Serena expressing her interest in a Sister City relationship.  Dr. Smith, who had been the head of the Joint Astronomy Center in Hilo and Mauna Kea was the Director of the Observatorio Interamericano Cerro Tololo and the Auro Observatory in Chile near the City of La Serena, where the Gemini’s twin telescope is located.  The establishment of this Sister City relationship was based on the scientific link of our astronomy communities and the potential technological benefits to both areas.

Buildings showing a sample of the architecture in Chile Festival in front of the Cathedral of La Serena Chilean government officials displaying a ratified document

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