L-R ( Luis DeRosa, President, Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of South Florida; Robert A. Peek, Executive Vice President, Jacksonville Sister Cities Association; Nilda Alejandro, President, Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Northeast Florida,
Mayor Santini and Wife; Orlando Gotay; and Mike Rios, President, Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach)


The Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of South Florida, headquartered in Miami-Dade County, was privileged to join with other Florida-based Puerto Rican Chambers of Commerce, to attend the “Sisters Cities” Signing Ceremony held in Jacksonville, FL. on October 2, 2009.  This ceremony – designating Jacksonville FL and San Juan, Puerto Rico “sister cities” - was attended by dignitaries on the highest level:  Honorable John Peyton, the Mayor of Jacksonville and Honorable Jorge Santini-Padilla, the Mayor of San Juan.  The impressive ceremony was organized by Ms. Nilda Alejandro (President) and Ms. Martha Pellino (CFO) of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Northeast Florida, located in Jacksonville.  This event – which included a luncheon – was also attended by over 400 participants, including  local elected officials and representatives of Jacksonville’s business community

Jacksonville FL was selected as a “sister city” as the trade numbers between these ports reached one billion dollars in 2007.  Present at the ceremony were representatives of Trailer Bridge, Sea Star, Horizon Lines and Crowley – companies that handle transshipment between the Ports of Jacksonville and San Juan.  The Chamber of Commerce organized – in conjunction with the Sister Cities Association and Jaxport – a tour of the Port of Jacksonville following the ceremony.

The Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce in Jacksonville is a member of the United States Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce – a national coalition of Chambers which work together to promote business, trade, commerce, tourism and cultural exchange between various markets on the mainland U. S. and Puerto Rico.  Representing the Coalition at this Sister Cities event were:  Luis De Rosa, current Vice President of the Coalition (Miami-Dade County);  Coalition Secretary Mike Rios (President, Puerto Rican Chamber of Palm Beach County) and Sam and Teresa Lopez (Chairperson and President respectively, FL Puerto Rican / Hispanic Chamber in Brevard County).

Mr. Luis De Rosa, President of our Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce in Miami-Dade County, spoke at the Ceremony about the growing Puerto Rican business community in South Florida.  He presented the Coalition of Puerto Rican Chambers as an ideal vehicle to promote Puerto Rico as a viable market. 

In addition to Jacksonville, San Juan Puerto Rico is a “sister-city” of Cartagena, Columbia; Honolulu, Hawaii; San Juan City, Philippines, and Santiago, Dominican Republic.

For more pictures of this event, please visit the “City Photographs” section of the City of Jacksonville website: