Montevideo’s agricultural market, known locally as the MAM, will be the first business in Uruguay to be certified a ‘Friendly Biz’. Making it the first officially gay friendly market in the whole of Latin America.

Uruguay is the second country in the world to adopt the certification standard which was developed in another Latin American nation, Colombia. The standard guarantees LGBT clients respectful and equal treatment.

The Friendly Biz standard is being promoted by the Uruguayan LGBT chamber of commerce as well as the government.

The chamber is quick to point out that Uruguayan business owners or employees don’t actively discriminate against LGBT clients and businesses welcome guidance around what’s appropriate—and indeed, legal. The certification is an opportunity to educate in neutral, respectful language as well as Uruguay’s progressive legal framework of rights for LGBTI folk.

The Mercado Agrícola de Montevideo or MAM is a publically-owned, privately-run market with shops, bars and restaurants. It is the first Uruguayan business to take the certification which involves training workshops for employees, an evaluation and an audit. The process to become a Friendly Biz takes about 6 weeks and after the MAM, the chamber plans to certify at least ten businesses in 2018.

The Friendly Biz certification has been developed by the Colombian LGBT chamber of commerce (CCLGBTco) as a business quality of service certification. Uruguay is the second country to adopt the standard as a country-wide initiative.

It makes good sense in a country where during the capital’s pride parade—known as the Diversity March—brings together almost 100,000 people, one in every 15 inhabitants.

Uruguay does it again in terms of LGBTI rights. #GottaLoveUruguay

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The Diversity March in 2017. Video provided by the Montevideo City government

Cover photo: From the MAM website

 

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