All because of a boat, Japan students visit North Coast

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CRESCENT CITY - Del Norte County High School welcomed 14 students and four adults from Takata High School in Japan today as part of a cultural exchange between the two schools.

It all started with a boat that drifted into Del Norte’s Harbor following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in East Japan. The boat traveled across the Pacific Ocean from Takata’s mariner school. A handful of Del Norte High School students volunteered to clean and repair it. That group of students then went to visit the school in Japan and return the boat last year. As part of the trip, they explored Takata and learned about the culture.  Now, Del Norte High is returning the favor of hospitality and hosting the Japanese students. These students will be exploring the North Coast for the next week.

“It’s a great thing for our community and it just makes you feel good to bring two cultures together. It’s important because the world is very small and Del Norte is a very rural location and so it's good for our kids to be able to meet other kids around the world and see the experiences that they have and what their school's like,” Coleen Parker, HR Director for Del Norte Unified School District, said.

The high schools hope the friendships that are started from these trips will continue, possibly leading to a sister cities agreement between the two places in the future.