Sister Cities Alajuela (Costa Rica)
History of the partnership:
In 2001, Lahr hosted a sculptors' forum featuring the works of 25 Costa Rican artists who successfully exhibited their works in the municipal park.
Thanks to the excellent close cooperation between the Costa Rican artists and the people of Lahr, there are still many contacts in place. As a result, the then Costa Rican ambassador to Germany, Professor Rafael Angel Herra, proposed a city partnership programme between Lahr and a city in Costa Rica in order to strengthen the relationship between the two countries for the long term.
In May 2004, interested residents of Lahr came together and founded the Alajuela-Lahr Circle of Friends as a registered association.
In July 2004, the new German ambassador to Costa Rica, Dr Bernd Niehaus, paid a visit to Lahr, during which he promised his explicit support for the sister city project between Alajuela and Lahr. On 19th May 2006, the partnership document was officially signed amid lively celebrations.
In 2011, the 10th anniversary of the sculptors' forum and the fifth anniversary of the Alajuela-Lahr partnership were celebrated with a 'Pura Vida' (zest for life) festival in Lahr, along with another sculptors' forum with artists from Costa Rica.
Over the years, there have been a number of social projects and Initiatives focused on Alajuela, such as volunteering in the Manos Abiertas home for the disabled, helping with teaching German at the Liceo de Poas, school exchanges, and earthquake aid in 2009. In 2012, a joint climate partnership was established, which has seen Lahr support Alajuela in the construction of a sewage disposal facility.
The city of Alajuela:
Alajuela lies at the foot of the 2,704-metre-high Poás volcano, and with just under 50,000 inhabitants, is Costa Rica's second-largest city after the capital, San Jose.
Today, Alajuela is home to Costa Rica's largest international airport. This provides a strong contrast to the carretas, brightly painted ox-drawn carriages, which can still be seen on the streets of Alajuela today.
Alajuela is also the trading centre for the sugar and coffee that is grown in the surrounding area. The city is surrounded by a number of volcanoes, and the region also boasts plenty of attractions.
Contact with Alajuela can be made via the Circle of Friends:
Freundeskreis Alajuela-Lahr e.V.
Marlies Llombart, Chairperson