Patricia Boezio, Ecuador's honorary consul in Atlanta; Alex Mejia, executive director of CIFAL Atlanta and Luz Borrero, Atlanta's deputy chief operating officer, surround Ecuador's vice president, Lenin Moreno, at the World Trade Center. A military attache is in the background.

The vice president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno Garcés, announced in Atlanta July 27 that his country would be opening a consulate general here next year, perhaps as soon as the first quarter.

Mr. Moreno made the announcement during an evening reception and dinner at the World Trade Center Atlanta, which 200 members of Atlanta’s Ecuadorian and diplomatic communities attended.

Alexander Mejia, a native of Ecuador and the executive director of CIFAL Atlanta, a United Nations affiliated agency, told GlobalAtlanta that Mr. Moreno attended the reception during a stopover on his way to a disabilities conference in Canada.

Mr. Moreno, who has been Ecuador’s vice president since January 2007, is an advocate for the rights of the disabled. He has used a wheelchair since he was shot in the back during a 1998 robbery attempt.

According to Mr. Mejia, Mr. Moreno said that the Ecuadorian government had approved the establishment of a consulate general in Atlanta, and that the U.S. State Department is expected to finalize the arrangement in the near future. As soon as Ecuador receives U.S. approval, which could be as soon as in the first quarter of 2010, the consulate is expected to open, he added.

The consulate general is to assist and protect Ecuadorians living in the Southeast and to facilitate trade and friendship between Ecuador and the region.

Argentina’s consul general in Atlanta, Carlos Layus, the longest serving member of Atlanta’s consular corps, provided introductory remarks at the dinner.