Spain honours MoBay businessman
The man credited with introducing the first Spanish investor to Jamaica has been recognised among a distinguished group of 100 Spaniards by the government in that country.
Montego Bay businessman Tristan Alvarado was selected among a distinguished number of candidates from across the globe to be awarded, based on his entrepreneurial spirit, successful professional and personal trajectory and how well he represents the values of Spain.
"I am most proud of him, because he has played an important role in promoting Jamaica within the tourism sector," former Spanish Ambassador Celsa Nuño told The Gleaner.
Nuño, who ended her tenure in Jamaica just over a month ago, said in her parting remarks she was very proud to have one of her Spaniards, from "likkle but tallawah" Jamaica, bringing to the forefront the excellent relations and the positive mark that Spain has made here.
Alvarado's influence and impact has been felt through his Solo Jamaica Foundation, which supports social development. Up to very recently, the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation and Solo Jamaica partnered to support Food For the Poor's school furniture drive. Both Foundations funded one full container of desks and chairs.
The former Spanish ambassador's comments were bolstered by former Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Dr Paul Robertson, who said he and Alvarado visited Spain together looking for new investors.
"He opened up Spain to us and played a pivotal role in getting Mr Riu of Riu Resorts to invest here," Dr Robertson told The Gleaner last week, adding that Alvarado's contribution could not be overstated.
"It is the influx of the Spanish that has kept the economy alive in Jamaica. They are at the heart of investment and employment and Tristan was part of that team that went to Majorca," he stated, lauding the tremendous contribution he has made to nation building.
Today, the first Riu Jamaican resort is 12 years old and their investment has been followed by the Iberostar Group and Fiesta resorts.
The Spanish-Jamaican, who operates the Liceo Montessori School with his wife Laura Mazabel, shared the spotlight with international singer Julio Iglesias at the ceremony organised by the Fusionarte Association with the support of the high commission for Marca España.
"I am heartened to be named among such an illustrious group of persons. It has reiterated to me that hard work and commitment pays off eventually," says Alvarado.
According to the Fusionarte Association, this distinction aims to acknowledge the work, talent and efforts made by the 100 Spaniards who have taken Spain's best image to the places where they have lived and worked, attesting to the most representative values of their country of origin.
"They come from different fields of knowledge and activity and have shown excellence in their various professions."