The business community came together at the Prince William Chamber’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas.
Hispanic businesses and restaurants offered traditional food prior to the awards ceremony to recognize exception Hispanic leaders in the community. Mariachi’s and Kiki Riki were among the many restaurants represented.
David Culver from NBC4 Washington was the night’s emcee, and kicked off the awards ceremony with a video segment about his family and their roots in Cuba.
Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Founder & CEO Michel Zajur spoke about the economic power the Hispanic community has in the United States.
“Prince William County is a hub for Latinos in the state of Virginia – it’s number three – and are starting businesses three times faster than the mainstream businesses…the Hispanic community spends more than $1.7 trillion in the United States every year – that’s larger than a lot of countries, most of the countries’ GDP,” said Zajur.
The Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s President Jorge Ribas directed his comments to some of the elected officials in the room, highlighting the important of upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that allows undocumented minors to remain in the United States with their families in renewable two-year increments.
“This is the message, loud and clear – Hispanics are here to stay,” said Ribas.
Breanna Sewell from Congressman Gerry Connolly’s Office selected Luis Angel Aguilar from Casa de Virginia for one of the night’s awards. According to Aguilar, he and his family are DACA recipients.
The other winners of the night included David Ramos from BB&T Bank, Ana Escamilla from Todos Supermarket, and Andre Gilberto Pineda from Cary Street.
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