Remarks by Ambassador Moser
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the New U.S. Embassy Campus
Guatemala City, March 16 2023
Good afternoon, Guatemala City.
Foreign Minister Bucaro,
The Embassy Community,
It is an honor to be here with you all today to celebrate this milestone.
This is my first time in Guatemala, and I want to say, muchas gracias por la cálida bienvenida.
Ambassador Popp, I cannot thank you, your team, and your predecessors enough for your dedication to this project. This would not have been possible without the collective effort of the mission community. I would also like to thank all those in the Guatemalan government who helped us arrive at this moment today.
Today is an important and symbolic occasion for the United State and Guatemala. This building, this entire project, reflects the United States’ commitment to the people of Guatemala and the many Americans that visit Guatemala each year whether to do business or experience Guatemala’s rich culture. This new campus provides Ambassador Popp and the Embassy team a space to efficiently work and advance our shared goals and objectives.
Our buildings operations and projects around the world address unique opportunities and challenges that we answer with sustainable, eco-friendly, and resilient developments that also celebrate our history and cultures.
Here in Guatemala City, the design team leveraged the natural landscape by incorporating multiple terraces that create outdoor spaces that visitors and staff can use throughout the year. The beautiful climate here means consular visitors can wait in the consular garden, shaded under the canopies, of course. And it means the Embassy team now has a large courtyard to host events, creating more opportunities to engage with the people of Guatemala.
Inside, our Office of Art in Embassies curated a permanent art collection specifically for this project. The American, Guatemalan, and Guatemalan-American artists represented in the collection tell our shared stories while highlighting diverse perspectives. A focal point of the collection is a piece by U.S. artist John Grade called Espejo. Grade’s inspiration came from the U.S. Great Basin bristlecone pine tree and the ceiba tree, which grows in Guatemala. He carved the organic massing from salvaged wood, creating a three-dimensional sculpture that symbolizes our nations’ natural environments forming one piece of art.
Speaking of the environment, I’d like to conclude by sharing just a few examples of our commitment to sustainability. Our two nations share the goal of improving how we treat the planet. This new embassy answers the call to better stewardship. Ten percent of the chancery’s energy needs are generated from the sun and we’ve employed a range of methods to reduce energy use by 30 percent compared to industry benchmarks.
Another sustainability goal was to mitigate rainwater, turning it from a flood risk into something useful for the community. This beautiful landscape is actually a major component of a stormwater management system. We used native plants and trees to create areas that slow down rainwater and filter out pollutants. The native plants along with the on-site wastewater treatment plant also help to reduce the amount of irrigation required in the dry season and the burden on the city’s potable water supply.
Much care and attention were put into every detail of this project so that for the next 50 years, it stands as a reminder of our shared values.
I am confident that this new state-of-the-art facility and these grounds will provide great opportunities for the ongoing exchange of ideas and serve as a platform to promote the many enduring ties between our nations.
That said, it is my immense honor, and pleasure, to dedicate the new U.S. Embassy Guatemala City.