Daily Archives: October 9, 2015

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Hispanic Federation Opens Doors in Orlando



Hisp fed2
Many local Hispanic leaders attended the Hispanic Federation ribbon cutting, including (from left) Betsy Franceschini of the Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Office, Daisy Morales of the Soil and Water Board, Josephine Mercado of Hispanic Health Initiatives, Diana Bolívar (in blue top) of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Carolyn Vega-Meléndez of Sen. Marco Rubio’s office. / Facebook photo

A new Latino-based organization opened its doors in Orlando this week to much community fanfare. The Hispanic Federation, a 25-year old New York group, is a new nonprofit in town that is expected to tap the local fund-raising vein to disburse monies to other Latino nonprofits, in much the same way that the United Way does on a larger scale. In 2014 Hispanic Federation raised $7 million in grants and private contributions, an increase of nearly 30 percent from the year before, according to its nonprofit tax filing.

The organization states Its mission is to “empower and advance the Hispanic community” and its logo reads, “Taking Hispanic Causes to Heart.”

The federation’s establishment in Orlando is the first time the organization has moved away from its Northeast base. More important, the nonprofit’s expansion appears to be part of an evolving trend in Orlando, where at least three New York Latino advocacy groups – mostly Puerto Rican – have established a presence in the past year or so.

“Everything helps,” said lawyer Anthony Suárez, whose offices on East Colonial Drive was the site of the ribbon cutting. The Hispanic Federation is subleasing space from Latino Justice, a civil rights advocacy group, which in turn leases from Suárez, a former state legislator.

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