Longtime Nicaragua resident and philanthropist Peder Kolind has been named Honorary Consul for the Danish government in Nicaragua and will open a new consulate in Granada’s Mi Museo this Wednesday.
Duties of the post will include assisting Danish companies in doing business in Nicaragua, promoting Danish culture through art and events, and helping citizens, permanent or visiting, with various issues, including the issuance of emergency passports and licenses.
“The consulate exists to represent Danish influence in Nicaragua,” says Kolind, who was born in Denmark and moved to Granada 12 years ago. “It also promotes Danish values of transparency and saying no to corruption.”
The Danish government asked Kolind to assume the position after it closed its embassy in Nicaragua last July, as the country shifts its foreign-aid focus to Africa. Kolind was officially named Honorary Consul by Danish Queen Margrethe II and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega last November.
Kolind says the former Danish ambassador told him he would find the position easy since he already knows so many people in Nicaragua.
“I think I understand very well how this society works. This job takes someone who loves Nicaragua; I happen to love it and I swim very well in this society,” Kolind said.
Kolind anticipates an easy transition into the job because he was already performing many of the roles already. Kolind says he has negotiate on behalf of fellow Danes who have run into legal issues here, helped those who have fallen victims to crime or theft, and assisted those who have become ill.
He also has a long history of helping Nicaraguans.
Every weekday at 2 p.m. sharp for the past 12 years, Kolind has received Nicaraguans seeking assistance with an array of issues varying from medicine bills and debt management, to marital problems.
Kolind has also founded important social projects in Granada aimed at alleviating poverty, educating and feeding children at Carita Feliz, organizing athletics at Sports College, and providing mixed-income housing at a development north of Granada.
“Being useful is the number one pleasure you can give yourself,” Kolind says.
While there are fewer Danes in Nicaragua now than in the past—some 50 Danish nationals currently live in Nicaragua, Kolind says—he is still excited to promote Danish culture. It’s a responsibility Kolind says he will take very seriously.
“It’s absolutely a great honor,” he said. “I will do this until I die.”