Fresno has been home to thousands of Armenian descendants since the 1880s. The contributions and presence of early settlers still remain and continue to be celebrated. Thus, it was natural that Fresno Sister Cities select an Armenian city with which to become exchange partners.
Officially established in 2009, the mutual partnership between the cities of Fresno and Etchmiadzin was initiated by Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearinger and Etchmiadzin Mayor Karen Gregorian at Fresno City Hall.
The city of Etchmiadzin – also known as Vagharshapt – was founded in 685 BC near historic Mount Ararat, located in the province of Armavir, and is considered the “spiritual capital” of Armenia. The Mother See of the worldwide Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church is headquartered at the 4th-century Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Fresno Sister Cities is looking for volunteers to establish a high school exchange program, so that this generation may find their roots in this magnificent city.
There are numerous museums, libraries and the Mother Cathedral itself, which all hold a vast richness of history and treasures. The Mother See is responsible for the preservation of artifacts, both those created by the Church and those given to the church as gifts over time. Relics from all five museums enjoy presentation to the millions of visitors that come each year.
This sister city relationship is a doorway to the past for our citizens, as Fresno becomes a doorway to the future for the citizens of Etchmiadzin.
We do not currently have a student exchange program in place with Armenia. Please check back later.
Here's a little bit of what you'll experience
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