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 Latino population. Unprecedented numbers arrive each day due to destruction of Hurricane María and the ongoing economic 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

María T. Padilla is the author of the upcoming book, Tossed to the Wind: Stories of Hurricane Maria Survivors, a collaboration with Nancy Rosado, that is scheduled for publication by the Universities of Florida Press in March 2020. The book is available for purchase on Amazon.com as well as BarnesandNoble.com

María is an award-winning editor and reporter based in Orlando, Fla., for over 20 years. She moved to Orlando in 1997 to work as a senior reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she worked for eight years and also launched the newspaper’s Spanish-language weekly El Sentinel. She continues to provide political commentary to the newspaper as part of the Orlando Sentinel‘s “Central Florida 100.”

She was editor of La Prensa for four years, earning the paper seven journalism awards. She has also worked in newspapers in Puerto Rico, Nevada and California.

During the 2016 presidential election cycle, she was a political analyst on Latino issues for WFTV-Channel 9, an ABC network affiliate and Orlando’s top-rated TV station. She can often be heard discussing Puerto Rico and other issues on Orlando public radio station WMFE-90.7 FM.

In 2014, she was named one of the “25 Most Influential Hispanics” in Central Florida by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando.