About the city
Barranquilla is the capital district of the department of Atlanta. It is located near the Caribbean Sea and is the largest city and port in the northern Caribbean Coast region of Colombia. In 2018, it had a population of 1,232,766, which makes it the fourth most populous city in Colombia.
Barranquilla was legally established as a town in April 1813, although it dated from at least 1629. It grew into an important port, serving as a haven for immigrants from Europe, especially during and immediately following World War I and World War II, when waves of additional immigrants from the Middle East and Asia arrived. Barranquilla became Colombia's principal port, and with its level of industrialization and modernity, it earned the nickname “Colombia's Golden Gate”. It is also the main industrial, shopping, educational and cultural center of the Caribbean Region of Colombia.
The city is home to one of the most important folk and cultural festivals of Colombia, the Carnival of Barranquilla, which was declared a National Cultural Heritage by the Congress of Colombia in 2001 and recognized by the UNESCO in 2003. Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport, built in Barranquilla in 1919, was the first airport in South America.
The twinning agreement
A twinning agreement between Bethlehem and Barranquilla was signed in September 2013. Bethlehem, represented by the then Mayor, Ms. Vera Baboun, and Barranquilla, represented by the then Mayor, Mrs. Elsa Noguera, agreed on exploring the development of business and trade relations between the two cities. They ensured there will be an exchange of experts in the fields of tourism, culture, information technology, science, health, environmental protection and sports.