Interview by: Heidi Powell
Heidi PP: We are guests of the Consulate General of Honduras in Houston, Texas. The lovely and gracious Hon. Yolanda Oliva is our interviewee. First tell us about yourself and walk us through your background.
Hon. Ms. Oliva: My name is Yolanda Oliva, I am the Consul General of Honduras in Houston, Texas. I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I was born and raised in Choluteca, the fourth largest city in Honduras. I am married and a mother of two beautiful children, ages eight and twelve. I was appointed to the position of Consul General in February 2014.
Heidi PP: What does the Consul of Honduras do in Houston? What parts of the United States are covered by your Houston Office?
Hon. Ms. Oliva: The Consulate General of Honduras in Houston is the representative of the Government of President Juan Orlando Hernández. We work based on the projects and guidelines of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Honduras in Washington DC. Our main focus is the service to the Honduran community in Houston, Texas and its surrounding areas, although we also serve all our citizens who seek us from other regions or states.
Heidi PP: Tell us about the Consulate General of Honduras and some of the services you provide.
Hon. Ms. Oliva: The Consulate General has its offices at 3731 Briarpark, suite 155, Houston, Texas, 77042. Our business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., from Monday to Friday. We attend requests for passports, consular identifications, and legal services for our Honduran citizens. We have professional and efficient staff members that attend with kindness all of our citizens’ necessities. We also offer advice and protection services to citizens with special needs such as citizens facing death of a family member and which require support to repatriate their remains. We ensure that our Honduran citizens’ rights are respected.
Heidi PP: What are some past, present and future goals for the Honduran relationship with the U.S.?
Hon. Ms. Oliva: Our relationship with the United States has been and remains on very good terms, with great cooperation and mutual respect. We hope in the future to continue strengthening the collaboration ties that have been established so far.
The community in Houston is very open and multicultural, and its authorities have become great allies in our efforts to support the Hondurans who live in the area.
Heidi PP: Tell us about your perspective on ways that the United States-Honduras cooperation may be furthered.
Hon. Ms. Oliva: The bilateral support has become very close throughout the years, and we hope it remains that way in different areas, such as; security, education, prevention and the strengthening of institutions.
Heidi PP: What are some of the big picture issues facing Honduras today?
Hon. Ms. Oliva: There is no doubt that the biggest issue Honduras is facing right now is immigration. It’s a very complex matter, and our nations are working on a solution for the long term. The economy, the health, and education are the most important areas when setting goals.
Heidi PP: How is the Honduran business community uniquely positioning itself to help Americans who are interested in doing business in Honduras?
Hon. Ms. Oliva:The Government of President Juan Orlando Hernández is working hard encouraging foreign investment. They have developed initiatives to improve and attract investment in Honduras. I would like to mention the success that tourism is having in the country. We are working hard on infrastructure and showcasing the natural beauties of Honduras. We have one of the most important and third largest coral reef in the world located in the Bay Islands. We have incredibly beautiful beaches and forests. We have the remarkable Copán Ruins and innumerable sites that impress tourists when they visit them. Our country is rich in culture and incredible gastronomy.
Heidi PP: Thank you. It has been a pleasure. I look forward to visiting your country in the near future.
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