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11/15/2017 3:25 p.m. Expect traffic delays on Sunday, Nov. 19, starting at 7:30 a.m. in Kendall Square, Central Square, Riverside & Cambridgeport during the 2017 Cambridge Half Marathon (Course Time Limit: 3 hours). The event will also impact MBTA bus service along the route. The 13.1 mile race starts at CambridgeSide, heads west through MIT & Harvard to No Beacon St. bridge in Watertown, then back along the Charles River to finish line in Canal Park. More details »

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Les Cayes, Haiti

Cambridge is in the process of developing a sister city relationship with Les Cayes, Haiti. The January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti had a very real impact on Cambridge, where many people from Haiti and of Haitian descent live and work. On January 11, 2010 – by coincidence, the eve of the earthquake – the Cambridge City Council adopted Policy Order 0-5: “That the City Manager appoint a committee to pursue the possibility of establishing a sister city relationship in Haiti.” The Peace Commission developed a proposal to establish a Cambridge-Haiti Sister City Committee (the “Committee”) in response to the order. The Committee was established to develop and implement a strategy to build an assets-based, sustainable, long-term, sister city relationship between Cambridge and an appropriate city in Haiti. That Committee was appointed by the City Manager in January 2011 and began working with the Peace Commission.

During its initial meetings, the Committee identified three areas of potential support and collaboration with a sister city in Haiti:

  • Public Health: short- and long-term support for public health initiatives, infrastructure and related ongoing efforts;
  • Education and Youth: support for local efforts in Haiti, through schools and the arts, including materials, sponsorships and exchanges; and
  • Infrastructure and the Environment: providing expertise and support to enhance and create public infrastructure and help reverse environmental degradation in and around the city and the surrounding area due to deforestation.

Over the course of two years, the Cambridge-Haiti Sister City Committee met regularly to discuss the various aspects of the proposed sister city relationship. Through that work, the Committee identified the City of Les Cayes as the most appropriate community based on specific criteria and the best practices of other initiatives. The Committee recognized that it needed to learn more about the situation, possibilities, and challenges of working in Haiti, and invited academics, representatives of U.S. and Haiti-based nonprofit organizations, and medical personnel working in Haiti to brief the Committee on their efforts and experiences. The committee consulted with these professionals to gain perspective on a broad number of issues.

These consultations led to a partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which supported the Cambridge-Haiti Sister City Committee’s fact-finding delegation to Haiti from May 23 through May 31, 2013. The delegation undertook a listening tour, spending a week in Les Cayes. The focus of the trip was to meet with stakeholders, evaluate facilities, and begin the process of building relationships. After the delegation, the Committee submitted its report to the City Manager, and on May 5, 2014, the City Council approved the Committee’s recommendation that the City of Cambridge proceed to establish a relationship with Les Cayes.

A second delegation in September 2014 was an important step forward in building the relationship, and brought together members of the sister city committee and Cambridge-based leaders in dental medicine and emergency medicine. As of Spring 2015, the effort continues to move steadily towards an official and sustainable relationship between the two cities.

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