By Sir Donald Glenn Peterson Honorary Consul of Sweden
Distinguished diplomats from the Consular Corps of Colorado, together with numerous, prestigious dignitaries and invitees, enjoyed the 2023 Consular Holiday Soiree, held on December 8 at the Polish Club of Denver! The jubilant attendees enjoyed a sensational smorgasbord of Polish delicacies and scrumptious desserts, as well as traditional Christmas carols, sung by Swojskie Dziouchy Group, and a talented dancing performance, given by the youth folk ensemble, Krakowiacy.
The Consular Corps of Colorado is over 62 years old as an organization. The Corps currently consists of 38 countries. The number of countries which choose to have official representation in Colorado has grown significantly over the years, as Colorado has become more linked to international business and global activities. Presently, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Peru, and the United Kingdom have full-time consulates in the state. The list of Honorary Consulates has also grown recently with the addition of the Bahamas and Malta establishing Consulates in Colorado.
The dashing Master of Ceremonies was the Honorary Consul of Poland, Tomasz Skotnicki! In 2005, Mr. Skotnicki was the first Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in Colorado, appointed by the Polish Foreign Ministry and confirmed by the U.S. Department of State. In 2007, Mr. Skotnicki was recognized by the President of the Republic of Poland for his outstanding work and achievements in the field of U.S. – Polish relations.
In addition to diplomats from the Consular Corps of Colorado, other distinguished dignitaries and guests included Karen Gerwitz, from the World Trade Center, Laura Rodriguez and Christian Thomas from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Doug Tisdale, from the Regional Transportation District and Minsoo Song, from the City of Aurora were also in attendance, together with Vanessa Simsick and Stephanie Garnica, from the Denver Economic Development and Opportunity Office.
The Consular Corps of Colorado is the official organization representing foreign governments in the State of Colorado, including regular Foreign Service career posts and honorary appointments. All Corps’ diplomats are recognized and credentialed by the United States Department of State.
Consuls and Honorary Consuls General perform important duties behalf of their representative country, including insuring that foreign nationals from their sending country are properly represented; advising on business and educational matters; dealing with issues pertaining to visas and passports, and special cases as may arise.
The Consular Corps of Colorado strives to increase cooperation and communication among its members; to increase awareness of foreign and international issues in Colorado and to provide information to Colorado residents about visas, laws, regulations, passport issues and other diplomatic matters pertaining to each host country.