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Brazilian investors buy Miami real estate. Haitian earthquake survivors attend South Florida schools. It's clear what happens in Latin America and the Caribbean has a profound effect on South Florida.WLRN’s coverage of the region is headed by Americas editor Tim Padgett, a 23-year veteran of TIME and Newsweek magazines.He joins a team of reporters and editors at the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and NPR to cover a region whose cultural wealth, environmental complexity, vast agricultural output and massive oil reserves offer no shortage of important and fascinating stories to tell.

How Spanish Investment, Trade Ties With Florida Offer Business Gold

C.W. Griffin / Miami Herald Staff

Arriving in South Florida, visitors from Spain might feel as if they’ve never left the Iberian Peninsula.

They can arrive aboard the Spanish airline Iberia, drive on a highway that a Spanish company built, stay at a hotel that Spanish investors own, take in a flamenco show, and finish the day with tapas and wine from Spain at their choice of Spanish restaurants. If they need money, they could stop by the Miami branch of Banco Sabadell or another Spanish-owned bank, pick up the El País newspaper that is printed locally by the Miami Herald Media Co., or shop for clothes at Spanish stores such as Mango and Zara. And if they were too busy to pack gifts for their South Florida friends, they could pick up espadrilles, painted ceramic plates and traditional polvorones cookies at local stores such as Brisa de España or Delicias de España.

If the baguette they crunch down on in their sandwich from 100 Montaditos has the taste of home, that’s because the bread for all the Spanish chain’s local restaurants is made in Spain, frozen, sent to PortMiami in a container ship and baked just before serving.

South Florida has become a magnet for Spanish investment and trade. Not only does the region have cultural and language ties to Spain, but its advantageous location allows Spanish companies to establish an outpost here for business in both the United States and Latin America.

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