Soto Honors Central Florida Leaders for Hispanic Heritage Month

October 13, 2020
Press Release

Kissimmee, FL – In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020, U.S. Congressman Darren Soto held a virtual ceremony recognizing twelve individuals from Florida’s Ninth District on their impact and contributions to the Latino community. The honorees' biographies were submitted into the Congressional Record.

"This Hispanic Heritage Month, I was proud to honor 12 community leaders in Central Florida," said Rep. Soto. "From a doctor combatting the COVID-19 crisis to business leaders, journalists, community leaders and artists, our District would not be the same without their daily contributions. We thank each and every one of them!"

The following individuals were honored:

Pamela & Estela Juarez

the daughters of Cuauhtemoc “Temo” Juarez and Alejandra Juarez, whose family has been torn apart after their mother Alejandra was deported due to the administration’s zero-tolerance policies. 

Amilcar Córdova

President of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida and founder of Córdova Marketing Solutions. 

Cecilia Figueroa

local journalist and former Vice President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in Central Florida. 

Gaby Ortigoni

a leader in the Central Florida business community, who is currently President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando and Senior Community Officer of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. 

Iluminada Aponte

an expert in Dominican and Puerto Rican folk dance and founder of Alianza Dominicana of Central Florida.

Father Jose Rodriguez

the vicar of Iglesia Episcopal Jesus de Nazaret in Orange County, who has been a part of  the Azalea Park community for more than three decades. 

Marcos Vilar

a leader in education and political activism, including being the former National Political Director for the Service Employees International Union.

Julio Zayas

a long-time activist and President of Comite Preservacion Cultura Puertorriqueña.

Wanda Ramos

a local leader and founding member of Vamos Por Puerto Rico, and advocate for Puerto Rican families moving to the Orlando Area following Hurricane Maria. 

Jose Rodriguez


Dr. Antonio Crespo

 a decades-long resident of Florida and radio personality who shares both his passion for music and keeping his listeners informed. 



Medical Director of the Infectious Diseases unit at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando, and currently helping to fight the spread of COVID-19 in Central Florida.