Filipino Life was graced with an opportunity to spend a morning with His Excellency Miguel Ángel Isidro Rodríguez, the new Ambassador of Mexico to Kuwait. What ensued is a light morning chat filled with enlightening life experiences and lessons.
Ambassador Miguel received his degree in Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and his Masters degree in Business Administration from the Rafael Landívar University of Guatemala. He first joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 1989 and since then had the pleasure of working with diverse locals such as Texas, California and Arizona in the USA, as well as in Guatemala & Hungary. He said that his work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs helped him gain the necessary experience to attain the role of Ambassador.
Blessed with 3 children with his wonderful wife, he feels truly honored to represent Mexico while in abroad. According to him, the opportunity to travel and experience so many amazing cultures and being able to share those moments with his family, give him a different perspective, one that enables him to do his job more effectively.
On his first visit to Bahrain, he says that he is amazed with the magnificent hospitality shown to him. He finds Bahrain unique, a very unique country in terms of the geographic size and population, and he enjoyed learning about the local culture and customs.
When asked how he and his family is settling in Kuwait, he shares that they have become comfortable and the warm welcome they received has made it so much easier to acclimatize to the environment and most importantly, to the heat!
Ambassador Miguel’s passion and dedication shines through as he shares his duties and responsibilities as Mexico’s envoy, “my job involves a wide range of different roles and responsibilities which means no two days are alike, a great benefit in my opinion. Most importantly, we are here to help any citizen of Mexico in whatever way possible, whether it is for a citizen needing consular assistance or an entrepreneur needing help setting up a business or investment opportunity in Kuwait. Another important role of this job is the opportunity to learn about the host nation, and the best way to do that is by meeting a wide variety of business, community and political leaders who share the same passion for building bridges between people and cultures. These meetings lead to increased dialogue and the opportunity to share ideas. Finally, one of my favorite responsibilities is showcasing Mexico to the people of Kuwait. Whether it is for tourism, investment or even cultural exchange, I am most proud about teaching people about the wonderful country I come from”.
“The best part of the job is meeting new people and making new friends. I am grateful for the opportunity to build and maintain these friendships across such large distances. I also enjoy learning about the culture and heritage of the host nation and the ability to help improve relations. Learning new languages is another important factor of the job and also one I enjoy”
He further shares that the biggest challenge he faces as an Ambassador is building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders in the host nation in such a short amount of time. “You have to rely on the vital and amazing staff at the embassy to maintain relationships during transition periods and get new people up to speed as soon as they have arrived. These relationships can be the foundation for increased co-operation and the improvement of relations which in turn benefits the people from both countries”.
On the subject of improving relations between Mexico and Kuwait, he is thankful that the relationship between the two countries is already so strong due to mutual respect and co- operation between both people. He says that there are so many avenues where the relationship can be strengthened both economically and culturally, from increasing awareness about tourism and investment opportunities, to sharing knowledge and best practices in the oil industry. He further says that the main goal is to increase the communication between the various Ministries and departments of both nations to raise awareness about programs and projects that can benefit both countries.
When asked about what his activities are when he wants to unwind, he says that he just spend time with his family to relax. Whether it involves travelling, shopping or just sitting at home watching a movie, spending time with his wife and three daughters is truly his best way to unwind. “I am so grateful to be able to have my family with me while I work abroad, it really is an amazing perk”.
On the question of which country he would like to go visit or work, where he hadn’t been before, Ambassador Miguel says that he would love to visit more of the Far East. “My work has already given me the opportunity to visit North, Central and South America as well as Europe and the Middle East, all wonderful experiences. Visiting China & Japan would be a great addition to the memories I have of my work abroad”.
He advises anyone aspiring to be a career diplomat to always keep their mind open to different viewpoints and cultures, “You will be amazed about how similar we all are no matter the thousands of kilometers that separate us and our countries”.
In closing, he addressed Filipino Life Magazine with a famous Filipino saying: Ang taong hindi marunong lumingon sa kanyang pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa kanyang paroroonan. (A person who does not look back where he came from, will never reach his destination), a good advice for all of us to look back at our own humble beginnings. Spending time with the Ambassador was truly an awe-inspiring morning.