More than 400 young Americans are descending on Rotorua this month.
Rotorua District Council is currently involved in hosting the annual People to People Ambassador Programme and over a two week period through until the end of July ten groups of around 42 American teenagers will spend time in Rotorua.
Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters said it was the nineteenth consecutive year that the city had had the pleasure and honour of hosting the People to People Student Ambassador Programme. He said the programme was very well established within Rotorua’s annual calendar and the Rotorua community valued the opportunity to engage with young people from all walks of American life.
“These student ambassadors’ enthusiasm and their interest in learning about life in New Zealand is heart-warming. It’s a privilege for me and my fellow councillors to have the opportunity of welcoming them and talking to them about Rotorua and how we administer the district for our community.
“The experience of other lifestyles and cultures that these young people have here enriches their lives, as well as ours, and contributes to a greater understanding of the world and its people.
“As future leaders, they’ll be able to pass this knowledge on to their families, schools and local communities for many years to come. From past experience, we know that many will return as adults in the future.”
As well as being welcomed by council elected members, the visiting groups’ experience of Rotorua culture during their four day stay usually includes a night on a marae, a night in a hotel and a night at Tui Ridge Park.
The People to People movement was founded in 1956 by former American president Dwight D Eisenhower. He advocated that direct interaction between ordinary citizens around the world can promote cultural understanding and world peace.