By Don Slesnick
The Consular Corps of Miami is comprised of diplomatic representatives from foreign nations assigned to South Florida to care for the citizens of their home countries who visit, work, or live in our area. There are 26 with offices in Coral Gables. These Consul Generals (and Honorary Consuls) play an important role in the city, where they serve their citizens as well as home-based companies that do business and/or keep offices here. In this series, we interview the Consul Generals based here. This quarter’s guest is Pedro Agustin Valencia, Consul General of Colombia.
When Did You Arrive in Coral Gables?
February 11, 2019
Where Were You Previously Posted?
With the local government of Bogotá, Colombia ́s capital.
What is Your Jurisdiction?
All South Florida, from Port St. Lucie to the Florida Keys.
What is Your Mission?
To protect the interests of Colombian citizens in the U.S. in accordance with the law, and to provide the services of identity documents, passports, document authentication, and electoral functions, among others. Our Consulate also guides foreign citizens who would like to visit our country, with immigration status and travel requirements (visas).
How Long Has the Consulate Been Located in Coral Gables?
Since 1981. Previously, our offices were in Downtown Miami.
What are Your Personal Goals Here?
Through the Ministerio de Relaciónes Exteriores (Colombian Foreign Affairs Ministry), to offer more and better services to Colombian nationals – and to celebrate our generous Colombian culture.
What are Your Impressions of Coral Gables as a Place to Live and Work?
Great central location, beautiful landscape, fine architecture, diverse gastronomy, hospitable residents, a perfect business and residential mix, and a place where one can live and have a short walk to work. Also a great place for a business lunch or dinner with family.
What are Your Favorite Coral Gables Restaurants?
Juan Café for a Colombian breakfast and coffee. Barista for a traditional Colombian lunch. Ocio for great Colombian dishes for dinner.
What Does Your Family Enjoy About Coral Gables?
The parks, and the events offered throughout the year, such as the Farmers Market, Carnaval on the Mile, Miami Spice, and the art festivals. We also enjoy the first Friday of each month, when art galleries open their doors to the public. We participate by hosting Noche de Galeria from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., when Colombian artists exhibit their art.
What are Some Local Businesses Owned and/or Operated by Colombians in the Gables?
Servientrega, Avianca Express and Docurapi.