New Salt Lake consulate already helping many of the 20,000 Salvadorans in Utah

Mar 24, 2023, 11:13 AM

Fernando Perez, El Salvador consul general, talks with Jose Aviles at the consulate of El Salvador ...

Fernando Perez, El Salvador consul general, talks with Jose Aviles at the consulate of El Salvador in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. The consul's opening of is part El Salvador's efforts to help those affected by the country's diaspora. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salvadorans in Utah finally had their requests for a consulate answered earlier this month.

The Central American country opened a consulate in Salt Lake City in March based on the requests. The opening is part of a push from President Nayib Bukele’s administration to open more consulates to better serve those affected by the country’s diaspora, 2.8 million of whom live in the U.S.

Gladis Rodríguez, executive director of Comunidad de Salvadoreños en Utah, said previous letters requesting a consulate were answered.

“The importance of having a consulate in our state is huge” she said in Spanish. “The Salvadoran community in Utah is very happy and satisfied because we have a consulate in our state, it’s like having a little piece of our country in Utah.”

Salt Lake City is the country’s 28th consulate in the U.S., and Consul General Fernando Pérez, who runs the consulate along with two colleagues, said about 20,000 Salvadorans live in Utah. Prior to the Salt Lake consulate’s opening, the closest consulate for Utahns was in Las Vegas. Rodriguez volunteered during the Las Vegas consulate’s mobile visits to Utah and said the consulate was never able to help all the people who were in line to receive services.

Daniel Espinoza said he put off renewing his passport for three months because he didn’t have the time to make the trip to Las Vegas. He moved to Salt Lake City seven years ago to join family and had made the trip previously.

“The truth is, going to Las Vegas to do this type of process is complicated. It takes time and sometimes it gets complicated,” he said in Spanish. “It was really good news to find out that the consulate is here. … I don’t know how big the Salvadoran community in Utah is, but I think it’ll be a relief for the majority.”

Pérez, the consul general, estimated the consul has helped about 100 Salvadoran since opening on March 8.

“We’re really happy because we have received a lot of Salvadorans since day one,” he said. “At the beginning, people are excited. So people are coming in maybe just to ask questions or introduce themselves.”

He hopes to work with community organizations as well as local and state officials on issues ranging from culture and sports to the economy. He hopes those efforts will benefit not just Salvadorans but the broader Hispanic community as well. El Salvador is the second country, alongside Mexico, that has a consulate in Utah. A handful of other countries, like Peru and Uruguay, have honorary consuls in the state.

“I’m trying to be a link between the state of Utah, the city of Salt Lake and the Salvadoran community like, ‘Here we are, we exist,'” Pérez said. “Because it’s new, it’s really interesting because you have a lot of opportunities and a lot of ways you can work together for the Salvadoran community, for Salt Lake City and also for El Salvador itself.”


KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

(KSL TV)...

Tamara Vaifanua

Exhibit honors life and legacy of Utah photographer

We’re closing out AAPI Heritage Month with a closer look at a new exhibit in South Salt Lake.

14 hours ago

James Kimose, Farr West, celebrates his 101st birthday in Ogden on Sunday. Kimose is a WWII marine ...

Gabrielle Shiozawa

Utahn — perhaps the last Air Force Iwo Jima veteran — turns 101 on Memorial Day

Every day. That's how often Jim Kimose thinks about his time at Iwo Jima — including witnessing the historic raising of the American flag — and his service in the United States Air Force during World War II.

14 hours ago

FILE: A flag is placed at Margery Johnson Clapton’s grave at Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery in Sa...

Don Brinkerhoff, KSL NewsRadio

Many ways in Utah to honor those who served this Memorial Day weekend

Many cities across northern Utah are offering ways to honor veterans for Memorial Day.

14 hours ago

Wildlife officials are warning hikers about rattlesnakes since they are appearing later than usual....

Lauren Steinbrecher

Rattlesnakes are appearing on Utah trails, around homes later than normal

A local rattlesnake expert is seeing a rise in reports of rattlesnake sightings on Utah trails, and she's got some helpful tips to keep you and your pets safe.

2 days ago

The aftermath of the small plane crash in Washington County. (Enterprise Fire and EMS)...

Michael Houck

Pilot uninjured after crashing small plane in southern Utah, officials say

Officials are trying to piece together a bizarre plane crash after a man bought a plane and crashed it in southern Utah Sunday afternoon

2 days ago

The water bursting into the air on Wasatch Boulevard and Eastwood Drive. (Courtesy: Amy Edwards)...

Michael Houck

Water bursts out of Millcreek road due to broken water line

A water line break caused water to gush out of a Millcreek road Saturday afternoon. 

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Asian little girl playing arcade game on the computer machines at the shopping mall outlets...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

New Salt Lake consulate already helping many of the 20,000 Salvadorans in Utah