Open House provided an opportunity to visit a consulate.
In April of 2015, the Portuguese Consulate moved from Orlando to Palm Coast. On Friday, June 10, there was an Open House at the Consulate's new offices. The consulate, located at 145 City Place, suite 105, is one of 18 Portuguese Consulates in the country.
The Open House included tours of the offices. Most of the tours were given by Honorary Consul Caesar DePaco.
“When you come through that door you are on Portuguese soil,” DePaco said.
Legally, and visually, this is true. The waiting area includes a television broadcasting Portuguese shows, and the decorations are from, and reflect, Portugal. Like all embassies in the United States, a consulate has special diplomatic status.
“Palm Coast is the only consul in Florida,” DePaco said. “We have people coming here from Key West.”
The large, active Portuguese American presence in Palm Coast was a big part of the decision to move to the area. Of an estimated 150,000 Portuguese residents in Florida, 10,000 call Palm Coast their home.
While the new offices were being developed by Tony Amaral, services were provided at the same address in a suite on the third floor. The new offices are larger and easier to access.
Those looking for consul assistance are required to make an appointment.
Joao Queimado, technical manager, assists people with their paperwork, and transmitting documentation to and from Portugal.
“Some people don't have their paperwork, or don't think they need it,” Queimado said.
Part of Queimado's job is to explain circumstances, such as property sales, that would require the Portuguese resident to have the necessary documents.
For Nick and Kayla Klufas, the Open House was an opportunity to visit a “neighbor.” The couple work for ACI software, also at 145 City Place. Nick Klufas is also a candidate for Palm Coast City Counsel, District 3.
“I've seen it being developed for a while,” Nicholas Klufas said. “It's great to be able to see inside.”