Consul General Javier Diaz de Leon presents the Ohtli award to Alejandro Coss, left, at Atlanta City Hall. Photo: LACC-Georgia

The Mexican government has honored the Latin-American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia’s president for his role in helping grow Hispanic-owned businesses in Georgia and beyond. 

Alejandro Coss was recognized with the Ohtli Award, one of the highest honors bestowed upon Mexicans living abroad, during a ceremony at Atlanta City Hall marking the country’s 213th independence day. 

The “Ohtli,” which comes from the Nahuatl word meaning “path” — is offered by the Mexican government to those who have smoothed the way toward a better life for their compatriots in the U.S. 

Consul General Javier Diaz de Leon presented the award to Mr. Coss, the longtime leader of a chamber founded in 1998 to equip business owners from around the state with resources and connections. 

“It means so much to me that the work that I am so passionate about also resonates with others,” Mr. Coss said in a statement. “This honor gives me even more drive to work hard every single day to ensure Georgia remains the best state in the country for Latinos and Latinas to start businesses, work and raise a family.”

Consul General Diaz also carried out el grito, the traditional call-and-response re-enacting the 1810 speech by friar Miguel Hidalgo on the church steps of Dolores, setting off the rebellion that would lead to Mexico’s independence from Spain

The grito rings out from Mexico City’s famous Zocalo and town squares all over the country on Sept. 15, the eve of independence day.

Since the pandemic abated, Mr. Diaz has brought back the annual ceremony with enthusiasm, hosting one event in Gwinnett County before bringing it to City Hall last year. 

Mayor Andre Dickens once again attended this year’s event. In a LinkedIn post, the consul general praised the Mayor’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs for “your partnership and for your perennial commitment to inclusion and diversity.” 

The 2022 Ohtli award was presented to America Gruner of Dalton, Ga., who for many years has fought for fights and dignity of workers in northwest Georgia. 

The 2021 award went to the Latino Community Fund Georgia for its work aiding local populations during the pandemic. 

Next up for the consulate is its annual Day of the Dead celebration, which for the first time last year was held in Oakland Cemetery, drawing an estimated 10,000 guests. Mr. Diaz promised via a post on X that this year’s event on Nov. 5 would be “even better and bigger.” 

Learn more about the Day of the Dead celebration here

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...