Delegates from Gonzales French sister-city visit soon

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Nestled between the Louisiana state capital of Baton Rouge and historic New Orleans, lies Gonzales, born in the 1920s, rich in history and tradition, and diverse in its ethnic background. Its lifestyle, food, and music contain a lively mixture of Native American, French, Spanish, African, Acadian, German, and Italian influences.

In 1985 the City Council agreed to establish a sister-city relationship with Meylan, a city cradled in the French Alps. Gonzales and Meylan have some similarities. Both cities are near capitols and major rivers, and are relatively the same size. Meylan is the home of the silicon valley of France with its population mostly composed of engineers. The Gonzales economy is derived from the many petro-chemical plants along the Mississippi River.

The relationship between Gonzales and Meylan is facilitated bythe Gonzales Committee on Cultural Affairs (GCCA). It is the strongest and oldest twinning of any city in the state. Twinned for 30 years, Gonzales and Meylan have been credited bythe U.S. State Department as doingmore for good relations between France and the U.S. than policy could ever do. The GCCA and its French counterpart, the Comité de Jumelage, have exchanged students, chefs, artists, politicians, cuisine, and are currently working on an economic exchange. According to the French Consulate, our twinning has attracted three French industries to Ascension Parish. Tourist groups regularly come to the area as a result of decades-old twinning.

On April 13, 2017, a delegation of 16 from Meylan is coming for another exchange. The GCCA is preparing a week long extravaganza to showcase Gonzales and south Louisiana. The delegation will enjoy activities spanning from Gonzales, to New Iberia to St. Tammany parishes. 

For more info contact the Gonzales Committee for Cultural Affairs President Karen Hatcher, 225-253-1675, or email culturalaffairs@eatel.net, or visit www.gonzalesculture.org 

Contributed Report