The Mexican population that has immigrated to West Columbia wants to build bridges with the community.
That was the message from Claudia Velasco Osoria. She is the Consulate General of Mexico. Osoria is based in Raleigh, NC, but she has been in West Columbia recently meeting with members of the Mexican community, who live here, now. Osoria spoke at a luncheon at West Columbia’s City Hall, Friday.
In attendance were West Columbia Mayor Pro-Tem Jimmy Brooks and Police Chief Dennis Tyndall and Fire Chief Chris Smith.
Tim James, president of the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce and West Columbia Economic Development Director B.J. Unthank also spoke.
“We want to work with you,” Brooks said. He also pledged the city’s help wherever it was possible.
The meeting was arranged by the husband and wife team of Vanessa Mota and Ulises Chavez of Mota Enterprises Crosslinking Business Center.
“South Carolina is one of Mexico’s biggest partners,” Osoria said. The amount of trade between the state and Mexico amounted to $ 7 billion in 2019. “We want to forge relationships,” Osoria said. She also said there are 400,000 Mexican immigrants in South Carolina and 700,000 in North Carolina.
While in the area, Osoria has been meeting with immigrants from Mexico. Her goal is to aid in encouraging investment, relieve anxiety and improve the quality of life.
Unthank said the growth of West Columbia recently has been phenomenal and he welcomes the diversity from the Mexican community.
James said West Columbia is the place to be because it has so much to offer.
Osoria said it is important to advise all immigrants from Mexico to follow the law and she said the relationship between the police department and the fire department, and the Mexican community, has been very positive.
Mota said she loves West Columbia and she is proud of the diversity of the community, and the many Mexican businesses that thrive here. Chavez said it is important for those in the Mexican community to communicate with West Columbia officials.