First International Consulate Day happening at Exchange Park Saturday

Consulates from up to six countries will be at the Exchange Park in Ladson to provide services to their citizens.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:01 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 7:33 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Consulates from up to six countries will be at the Exchange Park in Ladson to provide services to their citizens.

Charleston’s first International Consulate Day will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon. Consulates will be coming from Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, and possibly Argentina and Ecuador to offer services for their citizens.

The Latin Exchange Club of Charleston and the Exchange Club of Charleston say this event is the first time consulates from this many countries have come together in the city.

Organizers say they have been reaching out to different consulates for over a year now trying to get all the countries to come to Charleston at the same time to make it one big fair. They say they expect a turnout of a couple of thousand people.

According to the Latin Exchange Club President Enrique Grace, consulates will provide help for their citizens including passport and birth certificate services, ID card renewals and more. Grace said each consulate is different in what they ask their citizens to bring but any form of identification from your country for proof of identity should be presented.

He said the process should not take longer than 30 minutes and hopes people are able to do walk-ups at their consulate. He says for the Dominican Republic and El Salvador walk-ups are welcome.

The Latin Exchange Club is part of the National Exchange Club which has been around for nearly 115 years. The Latin Exchange Club in Charleston is the first Latin club in its history and they help the Hispanic community due to the language barrier.

Grace said the Hispanic community is growing rapidly in Charleston and in the state of South Carolina and hopes this event creates inclusivity within the Charleston community for all immigrants.

“Part of the idea is to show that Charleston is a welcoming city for foreigners,” Grace said. “Whether it’s Hispanic or other people that are immigrating from other countries. This one is a Hispanic event we hope to bring consulates from other countries as well.”

A free health fair from participating organizations such as Shifa Clinic, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Medical University of South Carolina, Palmetto CAP, and others is open to anyone and will be happening at the same time where the public can receive vaccines, testing, and other resources for people who may need other medical attention.