Bringing together Latinos in educational, civic, and charitable activities to encourage all in the preservation, development, celebration, and promotion of the spirit, diversity, and richness of the Latin American cultural heritage and to share it in common cross-cultural experiences with non-Latinos.
Aiming to preserve and encourage development and celebration of the diversity and the commonality of the Latin American cultural heritage, traditions, and arts toward mutual understanding among all.
Unity in Diversity
Cultural Pride and Respect
Integrity and Trustworthiness
THE BIRTH OF THE LATIN AMERICAN ALLIANCE
A day in February of 2013 witnessed a meeting of Hispanic leaders of Lancaster and various organizations which began the reality of a dream as well as a new direction for Hispanics in Lancaster County. Representatives of the former Puerto Rican committee (the majority group of Hispanics in Lancaster County), the Colombian association, the Ecuadorean association, and the Dominican Republic association agreed the need was palpable for a united and visible Hispanic presence in Lancaster county. Believing that there is strength in unity, all agreed that day to pool experience, ideas, and energies.
In the early stages, desire and vision drove the group. Experience revealed the difficulties of a parade, so having a festival was the choice for a beginning. Several sources (the Hispanic newspaper, Spanish radio station, and schools) noted a lack of recognition and celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15); therefore, it was decided that a Saturday in mid-September would be a great way to kick off the celebration in a big way.
We recruited a young woman as Miss Festival, the forerunner of the annual Miss Hispanic Scholarship Program. That following spring we initiated the annual Spanish Poetry/ Literature Contest. As we have grown and become known, spontaneous projects have occurred and future programs continue to be a part of our dream.
WHY WE EXIST
What motivates us? We Latin Americans appreciate the privilege to live, work and thrive in this country, but we are extremely proud of our roots and heritage (like all immigrants are). Our children acclimate very quickly to the culture here, thus we want to share our culture in all its dimensions with them so that they appreciate and understand their roots. This is at the heart of the Latin American Alliance.
Understanding that as humans, there is the tendency to misunderstand a different cultural group like Hispanics and stereotype them, LAA wants to share the excellence of our culture as well as its great diversity.
And above all, we want to share the different and varied cultural expressions and traditions of the people of Latin American with non-Hispanics for the purpose of mutual understanding, appreciation, and ultimately, unity.
Board of Directors
Jaime E. Zabala
Board President from Ecuador
María Del Carmen Asín
Board Treasurer from Bolivia
Board Member from Puerto Rico
Board Member from Chile
Board Secretary from El Salvador
Board Member from Perú
Board Member from The United States
Cultural Development Committee
Members of the Cultural Development Committee
Anne Stachura - Chair (USA)
Marielín Rottkamp - Secretary (Uruguay)
Jaime Zabala (Ecuador)
Diana Escalante (Dominican Republic)
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Katherine Guerrero (Peru)
Alma Jimenez (Puerto Rico)
Denise Zabala (USA)
Miss Hispanic Scholarship Program Committee
The Señorita Hispanidad committee is responsible for organizing and administering the Señorita Hispanidad Scholarship contest. This contest is a practical way to encourage and empower young latina women to pursue their career goals by means of a scholarship to further their education. In their position as Señorita Hispanidad, they are elevated to a position of leadership and serve as a role model. Both Señorita Hispanidad and the runner-up receive scholarships towards their education.
Members of the Señorita Hispanidad Committee
Jennifer Góngora- Secretary (Colombia)
Srta. Hispanidad Nelian Cruz (México)
Nelly Toledo (Honduras)
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Ingrid Mora Smith (Ecuador)
Natividad Pérez (Dom. Republic)
Francisco Gomez de la Torre (Peru)
Latin American Festival Committee
Members of the Festival Planning Committee
Jaime Zabala - Chair (Ecuador)
Miguel Tirado (Puerto Rico)
Cirilo Ventura (Dom. Republic)
Francisco Guerrero (Dom. Republic)
Denise Zabala (USA)
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Anne Stachura - Secretary (USA)
David Barzola (Ecuador)
Luz Mary Parra Murillo (Perú)
Nikole Ortíz (Uruguay)
Financial Development Committee
The objective of the Financial Development Committee is to support Latin American Alliance’s existing programs by 1) developing and implementing a budget in coordination with the program committees, 2) identifying and securing funding sources to carry out the programs, and 3) managing a cultural center to house the programs and serve the needs of the community.
Members of the Financial Development Committee
Miguel Tirado - Chair (Puerto Rico)
Ramón Estévez (Chile)
María del Carmen Asín (Bolivia)
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