City of St. Augustine hosts flag exchange ceremony with sister city


The City of St. Augustine recently hosted a flag exchange ceremony with sister city Aviles, Spain at city hall.

Sonia Barbosa of Aviles presented her country’s flag to Mayor Nancy Shaver and members of the city commission. The flag was given to her by Aviles City Council Member Manuel Ángel Campa, head of Aviles’ economic development and promotional activities, In exchange, Barbosa will return to Avilés with a flag from the City of St. Augustine.

Barbosa’s visit was planned to coincide with the 451st anniversary of the day Pedro Menendez de Avilés sighted land on Aug. 28, 1565 – the Feast Day of Saint Augustine. Menendez decided to name the city Saint Augustine - after the patron saint of his hometown of Aviles, Spain – when he founded the city 11 days later.

St. Augustine has maintained a sister city relationship with Avilés since the 1920s which has resulted in the exchange of numerous official gifts and cultural programs.

Journey to St. Augustine

A transit driver by profession, Barbosa’s avocation keeps her on the road - literally. Riding her BMW motorcycle, named “Trailera,” Barbosa travels some of Europe’s most picturesque county roads as a travel writer for “El Comercio,” a prominent newspaper in Asturius, and for an official newsletter for BMW in Spain. Her writings and photographs are also used by the Austrian government in tourist promotions.

For her trip to St. Augustine, Barbosa had her motorcycle shipped to New York City and began her journey to St. Augustine Aug. 22.