About Orlando Latino®

Orlando Latino® was founded in 2009 and has become a respected source of original content about the Hispanic community in the Orlando region. Latinos are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in Central Florida and the nation.

The Hispanic demographic in Central Florida differs greatly from that of South Florida. In the Orlando area the Puerto Rican population predominates, making up 50 percent or more of the Hispanic population. Unprecedented numbers arrive each day due to destruction of Hurricane María and the ongoing financial crisis in Puerto Rico. In fact, today’s Puerto Rican migration to the continental United States is the largest since World War II. As of September 2015, Puerto Ricans number over 1 million in Florida.

About María T. Padilla

Named one of “Central Florida 100” by the Orlando Sentinel in 2016, María T. Padilla is an award-winning editor and reporter based in Orlando, Fla., for 20 years. In 2014, she was named one
Meof the “25 Most Influential Hispanics” in Central Florida by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando.

María is the editor and founder of Orlando Latino®,  a blog that voices issues important to Orlando’s Latino community. She is a political analyst on Latino issues with WFTV-Channel 9, the ABC network affiliate and Orlando’s top-rated TV station. She can often be heard discussing current events on Orlando public radio station WMFE-90.7 FM. María also serves as first vice president of the League of Women Voters, Orange County chapter. (Note: The analysis and opinions in Orlando Latino® are her own.)

She was editor for more than three years of La Prensa, where María earned the paper seven journalism awards. She also worked eight years with the Orlando Sentinel, during which time she launched the newspaper’s Spanish-language weekly edition El Sentinel. She has worked in newspapers in Puerto Rico, Nevada and California.