Consulate of Mexico in Indianapolis
Community Ambassador Representing the Government of Mexico
The Mexican Consulate is a symbol of the century-long diplomatic relationship between Indiana and Mexico and a vital resource for Mexican and Hispanic individuals living in our state.
Nestled in the heart of Indianapolis, the Consulate of Mexican serves an important role within the fabric of our city’s diverse community. As the only diplomatic office established in Indiana, the consulate stands as a symbol of the strong diplomatic connections forged during the Mexican diaspora, as thousands of Latino people came to the Midwest. Now, the Consulado de México en Indianapolis has a long history of assisting Mexican nationals, supporting Latino immigrants and inspiring Hispanic Hoosiers throughout the state.
The relationship between Indiana and Mexico can be traced back over 100 years—when the first consular office was established in 1907. At the time, Mexican President Porfirio Díaz appointed Colonel Russell B. Harrison as an Honorary Vice-Consul of Mexico. Russell B. Harrison was the great-grandson of the 9th U.S. President William Henry Harrison and son of the 23rd U.S. President Benjamin Harrison. He helped maintain relations and protect the foreign-born Mexicans living in Indiana, until he stepped down in 1917.
This marked the end of the Indianapolis consular position for decades, until the local Latino population boomed in the 1990s. By 2000, the city’s Hispanic population had nearly quadrupled to over 30,000 people—with the majority of Mexican descent. In response to this growing need, the government of Mexico officially established the Consulate in Indianapolis—Indiana’s first and only foreign consulate in the Hoosier state.
Established in 2002, the Consulate of Mexico in Indianapolis serves and safeguards the rights and interests of the Mexican community in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. This includes providing residents with crucial nationality and identification documents, guaranteeing due process in legal and judicial matters, offering emergency relief or disaster assistance to Mexican immigrants, shielding victims from domestic violence or hate crimes, and issuing visas to foreign national traveling to Mexico.
The current Mexican Consul General in Indianapolis, Leticia Maki Teramoto Sakamoto, carries on this tradition of service and empowerment. She sees her role not just as a bureaucratic position, but as an opportunity to create the infrastructure Mexican immigrants need to thrive.
“I really wish to see the Mexican community more integrated into the Indiana circle of life in all ways possible,” said Teramoto. “I don’t want them to feel accepted. I want them to be accepted.”
Back in 1990, only 1% of the Indianapolis population was Hispanic. But as of 2020, that number has increased to a remarkable 13% of the city. This exceptional growth means that the consulate is constantly evolving to meet the community’s changing needs, including new programs designed to facilitate greater cross-cultural understanding.
One such initiative is the Plaza Comunitaria program, which provides continuing education in Spanish for all individuals, not only Mexicans. This program is specifically designed by the National Institute for Adult Education (INEA) in Mexico, offered in partnership with the Mexican Consulate and schools and other community organizations. Programs like this not only certifies elementary and middle school diplomas to the participants but helps increase essential language and literacy skills, which then serve as a stepping stone for a better life. As the information that the Mexican Consulate permanently shares on health, education and financial orientation, as well as in preventive measures and consular protection is in Spanish, it definitely benefits and helps other Spanish speaking communities in Indiana.
Besides the traditional consular work, the Mexican Consulate also carries out political, economic, trade and tourism responsibilities, enhancing and strengthening relationships with elected officials in state governments and legislatures, and business councils, and promoting ties under the USMCA. As 2022 marked the 200th Anniversary of the establishment of the United States-Mexico diplomatic relations, during 2023, just as the 50th Anniversary of the International Center, the consulate of Mexico offered many cultural, historical and artistic events in collaboration with friends, allies and partners, enriching diversity and inclusion in the Hoosier state.
From intercultural dialogue to integration assistance, the Consulate of Mexico in Indianapolis deeply aligns with the mission and values of The International Center. Both organizations understand the importance of building a diverse, inclusive city and the value in sharing one’s culture with the larger community. Today, the Consulate remains a symbol of the enduring ties between nations and a true ambassador for the Mexican community, ensuring that Mexican, Latino and Hispanic Hoosiers flourish here in Indianapolis.