Valladolid, Mexico

Population: 48,973

Area: 431 sq mi

Municipal President: Alfredo Fernández Arceo (2021-2024)

Valladolid partnered with Asheville in 2006, and is located midway between Cancun and Mérida in Mexico. Thomas and Kathie Jones, longtime residents of Asheville, had been traveling to Valladolid in the Yucatan Peninsula for years before moving there and subsequently initiated the relationship between the two cities.This amazing 14 year connection has brought about lasting friendships, rich cultural exchanges and experiences, as well as impactful projects. Former Mayor Charlie Worley, former Mayor Russ Martin and former Mayor Terry Bellamy have all traveled with delegations to Valladolid. Reaffirmation agreements have been signed with all these mayors and recently with our current Mayor, Esther Manheimer. To learn more about Valladolid or to learn how to get involved with the committee, please email Rebecca at

  • Founded in 1543 by the Spanish, named after the then capital of Spain – Valladolid
  • In 1849, it was the ignition point for the 19th century Caste Wars between the surviving Maya and the ruling Spanish authority
  • Second largest city in the State of Yucatan and, like Asheville in Western North Carolina, it is the eastern metropolitan hub of the Yucatan with medical services, higher education, and a variety of commercial enterprises.
  • Maya culture is very much present with many of the women still wearing the traditional huipil and the maya language still popular.
  • The maya ruins of Chichen Itza and Ek Balam are nearby.

The Mayan Melipona Bee Sanctuary Project

The Mayan Stingless Melipona beetending tradition is documented back 3,200 years, but is being lost in favor of the more productive European Honeybee. A project in partnership with Asheville Sister Cities aims to provide start-up hives to women in the more rural areas of the Yucatan Peninsula. The women can sell their rare and valuable medicinal honey in local markets and abroad, thus creating opportunities to sustain this ancient cultural practice and revive declining Melipona Bee populations.  

Learn more at