Can't find what you're looking for? Most of our content is now on orlando.gov. Visit orlando.gov now to view our services.

HOLA in the Community



Community Forum: 2020 Census presented by Hispanic Connection

On Friday, January 24, 2020, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended a community forum, "Take Action 2020 Census," presented by the local organization, Hispanic Connection. The forum provided information to the community in regards to the upcoming census for this year. The census is very useful because it provides critical data that is used to provide services and support for you and your community. During the activity, attendees were able to also register and update their data to be ready to vote in the 2020 elections. The turnout was very successful and many questions and issues were addressed in this informative event.
City of Orlando Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission Great Day of Service

On Monday, January 20, 2020, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended one of the City of Orlando Mayor's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission's Great Day of Service events. For more than two decades the commission has come together with the city's corporate and community partners to plan and promote a variety of events to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There were several community service events planned throughout the city. Volunteers worked on projects to benefit City of Orlando residents such as donating non-perishable food items, clean-up downtown/trash pick-up to preserve the City Beautiful.





District 4 Wheels for Kids Giveaway Event

On Monday, December 23, 2019, HOLA coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, joined District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan and the Orlando Fire Department for their Wheels for Kids event held at Howard Middle School. Many lucky children were able to snap a photo with Santa and then as a special treat they received bicycles, which they had to promise to contribute something positive in the community in order to obtain their new rides.​ ​This is the 18th year in a row District 4 and OFD have joined together to deliver this wonderful program.


District 1 Citrus Square Turkey Giveaway

On Tuesday, November 26, 2019, HOLA coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, joined District 1 Commissioner Jim Gray's Team for their Turkey Giveaway, where turkeys and other food items were distributed to local families at the Citrus Square Neighborhood Center. They partnered with Cici’s Pizza located on Semoran Boulevard and with Orlando Health.


District 5 Thanksgiving Event

On Tuesday, November 26, 2019, District 5 City Commissioner Regina I. Hill has partnered with Shiloh Baptist Church of Orlando, Publix Supermarkets and the Orlando City to host a Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway. At the event, HOLA coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, volunteered at the registration table. More than 400 turkeys were given away along with other food for an entire Thanksgiving meal to local families and residents. Food was distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.



District 2 Government Academy Graduation

On Monday, November 18, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, participated in the graduation ceremony of District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz's Government Academy. Ana was involved with the 9-week course by offering information and a presentation to the class about HOLA. The D2 Government Academy class educates citizens of the community about their local government in order to promote inclusion and knowledge for the good of the community. Topics discussed are taught by their respective field experts and include an array of subjects such as: Federal, state, county, and municipal government. After, the course is completed the students receive a certificate on the day of graduation.

Pictured to the left from descending order are students Ms. Mariesy Davila and Mr. Julio Pena.


Teach-In in America at the Azalea Park Elementary School

In celebration of American Education Week, each November schools invite business and civic leaders into the classrooms in a fun and engaging way -- to talk with students about academics, careers and the future. On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, had the pleasure of speaking with classes of fourth and fifth graders about HOLA and her career path. It was a positive experience to engage with the community and inspire young minds of the future.


Affordable Healthcare Act Enrollment Opening at HOLA

On Friday, November 1, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, was interviewed by various media outlets regarding the Affordable Healthcare Act enrollment opening of 2019. Also, Anne Packham, Director of the Insurance Market Project with Primary Care Access Network, was interviewed and assisted citizens of the community with enrollment and information. The City of Orlando Hispanic Office for Local Assistance (HOLA) offers a certified bilingual Navigator of Medical Insurance once a week to give all residents the opportunity to apply for or re-enroll in health insurance by appointment. This initiative is one of the many services and resources that HOLA offers to our residents and newcomers to the city, and is part of our efforts to provide the community with access to services, tools, and resources.


Gateway Orlando's 8th Annual Trunk 'O Treat Event

On Wednesday, October 30, 2019, HOLA Staff attended Gateway Orlando's 8th Annual Trunk 'O Treat Event. Over 500 Central Florida residents attended the event. The event was FREE to residents who brought non-perishable food items, the items were then donated to a charitable organization. The event included bounce houses, costume contests, face painting, balloon animals and other friendly activities. Additionally, Keiser University created a Haunted House for the attendees enjoyment.
Johnson Manor Seniors' Presentations

As a part of HOLA's initiative to promote our services we have been visiting the city limits seniors housing projects. On Thursday, October 24, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, and Orlando Police Officer Jose Sanchez visited Johnson Manor Senior Apartments; where they gave a Safety Presentation and an HOLA presentation about our services.

D2 Government Academy HOLA Presentation

On Tuesday, October 22, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ms. Ana L. Cruz, gave a presentation about the services that HOLA offer to the community during a District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz' Government Academy class.


District 2 Fall Festival

On Friday, October 18, 2019, HOLA Staff participated during the District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz' Fall Fest 2019 Event. Many Central Florida residents attended the event. The event was free for the community. Local vendors and organizations shared their products and services. The event also included bounce houses, music, face painting, free raffles and more.



DNF Medica Center 8th Annual Family Fest

On Saturday, October 12, 2019, HOLA coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the 8th Annual DNF Medical Center Family Fest event. HOLA shared information regarding our services. The event featured a Cowboy Costume contest. The event also included refreshments, food, music, a domino tournament and a raffle.




BETA School Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

On Thursday, October 10, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the BETA School Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration where she was a guest speaker during the their event program. She also shared information about HOLA services.




College Park Elementary School Multicultural Event

On Thursday, October 10, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the College Park Elementary School Multicultural Event. HOLA had a table at the event where we discussed our services and how we help the community. The event also included a festive showcase of music, costumes and food. Thanks to Ms. Ramonita Cordero-Reyes for the invitation and hospitality.


City of Orlando 1st Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest for Children

On Monday, October 7, 2019, the City of Orlando Hispanic Heritage Month Committee and Commissioner Tony Ortiz presented six awards, first, second and third place from elementary and three from middle school, to children who participated and won during the 1st City of Orlando Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest for Children. Sixty-nine entries were submitted to the committee and six children received a gift card from Walmart and a Certificate of Recognition. Certificates of Participation were given to the other children that participated.
William and Catherine Booth Towers Seniors' Presentations

As a part of HOLA's initiative to promote our services we have been visiting the city limits seniors housing projects. On Thursday, October 3, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, Orlando Police Officers Eddie Rosado and Richard Patterson visited the William Booth Tower at Salvation Army where they gave a Safety Presentation and an HOLA presentation about our services.


Gala Casa de Mexico

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, HOLA Staff attended the Annual Casa de Mexico Gala at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. This year they have the participation of Mariachi Cobre and the National Group of Dance from Mexico.


City of Orlando's Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff

HOLA Staff participated at the 11th Annual City of Orlando’s Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff on Thursday, September 12, 2019 to celebrate the rich and diverse Hispanic culture. The event included a Hispanic Heritage Art Exhibit, Latin folkloric dances, food, and entertainment.
National Night Out Against Crime District 2 Event

On Tuesday, August 27, 2019, HOLA Staff attended the District 2 National Night Out Kickoff hosted by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, City of Orlando District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz and Sedano's Supermarket where free food, drinks, entertainment, giveaways and community resources were offered for the community.


Magnolia Towers Seniors' Presentations

As a part of HOLA's initiative to promote our services we have been visiting the city limits seniors housing projects. On Thursday, August 22, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, Orlando Police Officers Eddie Rosado and Richard Patterson visited Magnolia Towers Senior Center where they gave a Safety Presentation and an HOLA presentation about our services.
DNF's Senior Prom Event

On Friday, August 16, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the DNF's Senior Prom Event where she was also a judge in selecting the Senior Prom King and Queen.


2019 Orlando Police Department Hispanic Seniors Safety Summit

On Thursday, August 1, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the 2019 OPD Hispanic Seniors Safety Summit. The event was specifically designed for Spanish speaking seniors and included crime prevention and safety presentations on topics such as: preventing residential burglaries, hands-only CPR and personal safety for senior citizens.


National Night Out Senior Safety Summit

On August 15, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the 2019 National Night Out Senior Safety Summit at the Audubon Park Covenant Church. The event was specifically designed for seniors and included crime prevention and safety presentations on topics such as: preventing residential burglaries, hands-only CPR and personal safety for senior citizens.





National Night Out Senior Safety Summit

On August 13, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the 2019 National Night Out Senior Safety Summit at the First United Methodist Church. The event was specifically designed for seniors and included crime prevention and safety presentations on topics such as: preventing residential burglaries, hands-only CPR and personal safety for senior citizens.
Unidos por Ecuador Gala and Awards Presentation

On August 10, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the Annual Gala and awards Presentation hosted by Unidos por Ecuador of Central America to celebrate "El Primer Grito de Independencia del Ecuador." Among this year's honorees were City of Orlando Employees; Mrs. Adolfina Ortiz from the Orlando Venues and Mr. Luis M. Martinez from Multicultural Affairs.
Meet the Teachers at McCoy Elementary School

On August 8, 2019, HOLA Staff participated during the Michael McCoy Elementary School's "Meet the Teachers" event. More than 75 parents attended the event with their children. Information about our services were shared with the attendees. We would like to thank, Ms. Luz Torres, Parent Engagement Liaison/Additions Coordinator for the invitation and hospitality given to us during the event.


Meet the Teachers at Engelwood Elementary School

On August 8, 2019, HOLA Staff participated during the Engelwood Elementary School's "Meet the Teachers" event for new and returning parents. More than 100 parents attended the event with their children. Information about our services were shared with the attendees. We would like to thank, Ms. Natalia Giraldo, Program Coordinator Parent Engagement Liaison/ADDITIONS/Partners in Education Coordinator for the invitation and hospitality given to us during the event.


DNF Senior Program

On Thursday, July 25, 2019, HOLA Staff had a table at an event for the DNF Senior Program where they talked about the services the office offers to the community.
Magnolia Towers Safety Awareness Presentation

On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, HOLA visited Magnolia Towers to promote the services offered by HOLA to the seniors residing there. Officer Eddie Rosado also provided a presentation on Safety Awareness.
Cleaning Authority-Orlando

On Friday, July 19, 2019, the HOLA Office received a donation from The Cleaning Authority-Orlando and we would like to thank the owner, Ms. JoAnn Goodman, for yet another donation of canned foods and her continuous support to families in need.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

On June 14, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the 13th Annual Elder Abuse Awareness Education and Prevention Symposium. The topic of this year's symposium was "What You Need to Know: Legal Aspects of Elder Abuse & Guardianship." Several topics were discusses such as State Regulations Governing Elder Abuse and Guardianship, Warning Signs of Elder Abuse and others. The Honorable Judge José Rodriguez (ret.) explained the guardianship process.





Conexión Hispana "Conference for Women Entrepreneurs"

On Friday, May 31, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, participated during the "Conexión Hispana" a Conference for Women Entrepreneurs about minority businesses. The event took place at the Costco Business Center in Orlando. More than fifty Hispanic Women Business Owners participated at the event that had City of Orlando Deputy Manager of Multicultural Engagement and International Affairs, Mr. Luis M. Martinez, has one of the main presenters. Mr. Martínez discussed the process to join the City's Minority/Women-Owned Enterprise.


DNF Medical Center Health Fair

On May 16, 2019, HOLA attended the DNF Medical Center Health Fair organized by Rx Care Pharmacy and District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz of the City of Orlando.
Health related services, raffles and information were offered at the event to the seniors that attended the fair.
D2 Government Academy

Our Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended and presented during Commissioner Tony Ortiz's District 2 Government Academy for Seniors. Ana shared with the attendees the history of HOLA (we just celebrated our 15th anniversary last month) and shared the many services that we provide at our offices.
Mayor's City Academy

On May 2, 2019, HOLA Staff participated during our Mayor's City Academy Graduation Ceremony. The Academy is a 12 week civic engagement program that takes you inside local government to learn how city departments serve residents every day. Fifty-two City residents graduated from the academy this year.


DNF's Spring Health Event for Seniors

On April 11, 2019, HOLA attended and shared information at the DNF's Spring Health Event for Seniors. More than 40 people attended the event, that included an Easter Hat Competition.

HOLA Proclamation Presentation

On April 8, 2019, Mayor Buddy Dyer presented HOLA with a Proclamation, proclaiming April 2019 as the Hispanic Office for Local Assistance Month in the City of Orlando.

HOLA's 15th Anniversary Open House Celebration and Raffle

On April 5, 2019, HOLA hosted a 15th Anniversary Open House for the City of Orlando constituents. During the day a raffle was done and prizes such as: a domino table, gift cards from Regal Cinema and more were won. The main prize was a customized domino table with the HOLA Logo. Ms. Carmen Santiago was the winner of the table.
We'd like to thank all of our constituents for allowing us to have continued to do the work that we love for the last 15 years.






HOLA 15th Anniversary Celebration

On April 3, 2019, we celebrated our 15th Anniversary in our offices. Mayor Buddy Dyer, City Commissioners, former HOLA employees, partners and friends joined us for an evening of awards, music, food and camaraderie. Awards were presented to: Mayor Buddy Dyer, City Commissioners, former employees, Mrs. Alicia Ramirez and Mrs. Diana Morales, City Employees; Mrs. Marcia Hope Goodwin, Mrs. Heather Fagan, Mr. Frank Billingsley and Mr. Luis M. Martinez. We also gave awards of appreciation to our current partners: Mrs. Anne Packham from the Primary Care Access Network, Mrs. Camelia Santiago from the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, Ms. Delia Mercado from the Second Harvest Food Bank/ACCESS, Mrs. Eva Pagan from the Working Together Coalition, Mr. Fernando Lopez from Goodwill Industries of Central Florida and Ms. Janet Foggs from the Department of Children and Families. Our partners has allowed us to continuously offer needed services to our visitors and clients over the past 15 years. We will continue to serve our community for many more years to come!


2019 HE GOT UP Event

On March 30, 2019, HOLA Staff participated during the 2019 HE GOT UP Event at the Northwest Neighborhood Center. This year's event was focused on legal services for the poor and under deserved and the sharing of information of local organizations.


HOLA Presentation at the Park Lake Presbyterian Church

On March 20, 2019, HOLA Staff Assistant, Mrs. Sandra I. Camacho, gave a presentation about the services that HOLA offer to the community at the Park Lake Presbyterian Church Family Night.

District 1 Community Meetings

On March 18, 2019, HOLA Staff had a table at another of the District 1 Commissioner Jim Gray's community meetings. This time the event took place at The Lakehouse, where he shared district progress and future projects. Other City Departments and local organizations attended the event also.
2019 HE GOT UP Event

On March 16, 2019, HOLA Staff participated during the first 2019 HE GOT UP Event at the Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center. This year's event was focused on legal services for the poor and under deserved and the sharing of information of local organizations.


District 1 Community Meetings

On March 12 & 13, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, participated during two of District 1 Community Meetings directed by Commissioner Jim Gray. The first one was at the Odyssey Middle School (pictured top) and the second meeting was at the Conway United Methodist Church (pictured bottom). Information from several City's agencies were shared with the attendees.




2019 Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Neighborhood & Community Summit

On March 2, 2019, the HOLA staff participated during the Mayor Buddy Dyer’s 14th Annual Neighborhood & Community Summit. More than 300 community leaders attended this year's summit. Twelve workshops were offered this year and two were presented by the City Multicultural Affairs Office staff: Building a LGBTQ+ Inclusive Organization and Hispanic Office for Local Assistance: At Your Service.

The participants also had the opportunity to gather resources and information necessary to build strong, vibrant communities and organizations.




University of Central Florida and HOLA English Classes Program - Graduation Ceremony

On February 28, 2019, 16 students that completed the 8 week English classes that were offered at the HOLA Office, in a pilot program with the University of Central Florida, English Language Institute, graduated. They were all very grateful and excited of ending the course that helped them to improve their English language skills.


Bingo Day at the Beardall Senior Center

On Friday, February 22, 2019, HOLA co-sponsored a Bingo Day at the Beardall Senior Center. Over 25 seniors enjoyed an afternoon of refreshments and prizes.





Literacy Week in Orlando

The week of January 28th through February 1st, Orange County Public Schools celebrated Literacy Week. Employees from the City of Orlando participated at the Azalea Park Elementary School by reading to the students. Some of the employees who participated were Orlando Police Deputy Chief Jose Velez, Orlando Venues Staff, Mrs. Adolfina Ortiz, Engelwood Neighborhood Center Manager, Ms. Alexandra Temes and HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz. They enjoyed their interactions with the students and hope to be able to attend again next year.
City of Orlando Mayor's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission Great Day of Service

On Monday, January 21, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the City of Orlando Mayor's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission Great Day of Service which was organized by the Orlando Mayor’s Martin Luther King Commission. For more than two decades the commission has come together with the city's corporate and community partners to plan and promote a variety of events to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There were several community service events planned throughout the city. More than 650 people volunteered on these events.
29th Annual Arthur "Pappy" Kennedy Prayer Breakfast

On Monday, January 21, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the 29th Annual Arthur "Pappy" Kennedy Prayer Breakfast. Arthur "Pappy" Kennedy was the first black elected official in Orlando Politics and he changed the course of local history when he was elected, it is because of this that the essence of his life and legacy are and will continue to be celebrated. The keynote speaker at this year's event was new Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and the recipient of this year's 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award was, Dr. Larry M. Mills.


Second Harvest Culinary Training Program Graduation

On Monday, January 14, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the Graduation of Mr. Jorge Cruz from the Second Harvest Culinary Training Program. Jorge arrived in Orlando after Hurrican Maria in Puerto Rico. It was through the services offered at HOLA that he was able to learn about this Culinary Program which allowed him to get a job in a restaurant. We are very happy for Jorge and his family and we wish him luck in his new job.
9th Year Commemoration 'Remembering Haiti' - Earthquake of 2010

On Saturday, January 12, 2019, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended Commissioner Samuel B. Ings' 9th Year Commemoration Ceremony "Remembering Haiti". This year's event theme was "The Color of 'Peace, Prosperity, Power and Love." The event was transmitted via Tele Anacaona in Orlando and Miami. Poetry, music, prayers and speeches from community leaders were part of the event program.
Donation of an Electrical Wheelchair

On Friday, December 21, 2018, the City of Orlando Multicultural Affairs and HOLA coordinated the donation of an electrical wheelchair for a local middle school student. We'd like to thank Mr. Carlos Carbonell, from ECHO Interaction Group, for assisting us with this endeavor.

In the picture, Mrs. Ingrid Orellano, mother of the student, receiving the wheelchair from Mr. Carbonell.
Cleaning Authority-Orlando Food Donation

On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, once again The Cleaning Authority-Orlando owner, Ms. JoAnn Goodman, and her organization generously donated over 400 pounds of canned foods for families in need during this upcoming holiday season. HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, picked the donation of food that will be given to families in need.

Goodwill Job Connections Center's Partner's Appreciation Breakfast

On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the Goodwill Job Connections Center's Partner's Appreciation Breakfast where HOLA received a certificate of appreciation for our support, dedication and partnership helping Goodwill Industries of Central Florida with the fulfillment of their mission: "Building Lives That Work."


Casa de Venezuela 4th Annual Bazaar and Informational Fair

On Sunday, December 16, 2018, HOLA Staff attended the Casa de Venezuela 4th Annual Bazaar and Informational Fair in the Fashion Square Mall. Over 30 local vendors and organizations had a tabling event advertising community events, products and services. The event also included traditional dance performances and music.
"Cafe Con United Way"

On Monday, December 3, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended a "Cafe Con United Way." During this event, Jennifer Marcial, editor of El Sentinel, Roberto Vizcon, news director at Telemundo, and Ybeth Bruzual, news anchor at Spectrum News 13 had a panel discussing the progress and challenges of Hispanics as newcomers in Central Florida and how they have been trying to find stability, safety and economic opportunity. Many local non- for- profit organizations that attended the event, agreed on meeting again to continue this important conversation.
Renaissance Charter School Community Services and Job Fair

On Tuesday, December 6, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the Renaissance Charter School for a Community Services and Job Fair. More than 20 parents attended to get information about jobs and services available in the community.
National Latino Peace Officers Association of Central Florida (NLPOA) Free Turkeys Event

On Sunday, November 18, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the 1st Free Turkeys Event hosted by the National Latino Peace Officers Association, the Central Florida Chapter and Walmart. More than 300 families received a turkey and some other food items. The event took place at the Super Walmart located in Goldenrod and Lee Vista. Members of the NLPOA and Walmart employees welcomed and provided these items to the participants.




"Unite As One" Multicultural Event at Azalea Park Elementary School

On November 15, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the "Unite As One" Multicultural Event at the Azalea Park Elementary School. The school encouraged attendees to come to the event dressed in their countries traditional attires. The event also included a festive showcase of music, costumes and food from over 20 countries. Thanks to Mrs. Karen Stephens for the invitation and hospitality.




NHHAW Community Services Showcase at UCF

On November 15, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the NHHAW Community Services Showcase at the University of Central Florida. The purpose of this program was to feature campus and community organizations dedicated to assisting individuals in need, and to allow students to meet and interact with these organizations to learn about their services.


11th Annual International Breakfast Panel for International Education Week at UCF

On November 13, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the 11th Annual International Breakfast Panel for International Education Week at the University of Central Florida. During the event a panel composed by Ambassador Harriet L. Elam Thomas, Egyptian Diplomat and Ambassador Karim Haggag and First Secretary of the Russian Cultural Centre, Natalia Moroz discussed the topic of "Global Diaspora." Managing Partner of Fragomen Worldwide's Florida Office, Mr. Enrique Gonzales, was the moderator. Besides the main panel they also had short presentations about the following UCF programs: the Puerto Rico Research HUB, Sustainability Initiatives, Building Leadership Change Through School Immersion Program and more.




Consulate of Mexico Celebration of the Day of the Death

On November 2, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the Day of the Death Celebration hosted by the Consulate of Mexico in Orlando. The event was a way to learn more about this traditional Mexican celebration of life. The event included altar exhibitions, arts & crafts for kids, pan de muerto, hot chocolate, tamales and more.


O-YES Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit

On Saturday, November 3, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the O-Yes Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit hosted by the City of Orlando/Commissioner Patty Sheehan and local LGBTQ+ local organizations at Valencia College West Campus. The summit included free interactive workshop sessions to network and learn about the LGBTQ+ community, including: LGBTQ+ history, a Gay Straight Alliance workshop, panel with transgender leaders and more.




Orlando Police Department's Change of Command Ceremony

On October 29, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the Orlando Police Department's Change of Command Ceremony at the Amway Center.

The HOLA Office would like to thank former Chief of Police, John W. Mina, for his 27 years of service and we wish him good luck on all of his future endeavors.

We would also like to congratulate the newly appointed Chief of Police, Orlando Rolón. We are very proud of you!




District 2 Fall Fest Event

On October 26, 2018, HOLA Staff participated during the District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz' Fall Fest 2018 Event. Over 300 Central Florida residents attended the event. The event was free for the community. Local vendors and organizations shared their products and services. The event also included bounce houses, costume contests, face painting, free raffles and more.


Gateway Orlando's 7th Annual Trunck 'O Treat Event

On October 24, 2018, HOLA Staff attended Gateway Orlando's 7th Annual Trunck 'O Treat Event. Over 300 Central Florida residents attended the event. The event was FREE to residents who brought non-perishable food items, the items were then donated to charitable organizations. The event included bounce houses, costume contests, face painting, balloon animals and other friendly activities.

Additionally, Keiser University created a Haunted House for the attendees enjoyment.




Puerto Rico Federal Administration Integrated Services Center Opening and Ribbon Cutting Event

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration's (PRFAA) first Puerto Rico Integrated Services Center (CSI by its Spanish Acronym) anywhere in the mainland U.S. The CSI will provide access to birth, death and marriage certificates, along with other Puerto Rican government issued documents in an effort to facilitate access to services and ease the transition for Puerto Ricans relocating to Florida.
Currently, there are 1.2 million Puerto Ricans living in the state of Florida, making our state the home for the highest amount of Puerto Ricans in the United States. New York City is now second.


Orlando Utilities Commission "Fall Into Savings"-District 3
On October 16, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the "OUC Fall Into Savings" event at District 3 - Commissioner Robert F. Stuart. The event took place at the Edgewater High School. During the event attendees had an opportunity to learn about different programs and incentives that will help us save energy, water and money in our homes and our communities.
OUC will continue hosting these meetings in the rest of the City Districts, we encourage you to look into your Commissioner's websites for updates about these events.




Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Award Ceremony

On October 10, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the First City of Orlando Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest Award Ceremony at the Engelwood Neighborhood Center. With three categories, over 30 essay submissions and after careful deliberations, nine students were chosen and granted certificates and Walmart gift cards.

The essay contest was established this year and the City of Orlando Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee is hoping to continue having it in the future.


XVIII Binational Health Week 2018: Healthy Mind, Healthy Life

On October 9, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the XVIII BINATIONAL HEALTH WEEK 2018: Healthy Mind, Healthy Life Event hosted by the Mexican and Colombian Consulates. The main objective of the event is to promote preventive health among the Hispanic community and especially throughout the month of October. A proclamation was given to the Orlando Consul of Mexico, Mr. Juan Sabines, on behalf of Mayor Buddy Dyer.




D2 Government Academy HOLA Presentation

On October 2, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ms. Ana L. Cruz, gave a presentation about the services that HOLA offer to the community during a District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz' Government Academy class.




University of Central Florida - Puerto Rico Research HUB

On September 19, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ms. Ana L. Cruz, participated on a panel: “A Year after Hurricane María: Lessons Learned and Future Steps” hosted by the University of Central Florida.
This event featured some members of the UCF Faculty, Central Florida media, government and community entities to discuss their experiences in responding to Hurricane María and its effects on the Puerto Rican population. The event was followed with a lunch to celebrate the creation of the Puerto Rico Research Hub at UCF.





City of Orlando's Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff Event

On September 12, 2018, HOLA Staff attended the City's Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff Event hosted by City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz at The Harry P. Leu Gardens . The celebration included the presentation of a proclamation from the City, Latin food, music and an art exhibition. During this year's event, the Key to the City was given to Puerto Rican singer, Olga Tañón, in recognition for artistic career.


DNF Senior Center Groundbreaking

On September 8, 2018, HOLA Staff attended the DNF's Senior Center Groundbreaking Ceremony located in District 2. More than three hundred people attended the event. Commissioner Tony Ortiz was a part of the groundbreaking ceremony and congratulated the DNF owners and staff for their dedication to serve the seniors of Orlando.


District 5 National Night Out Against Crime Kickoff Event

On September 7, 2018, HOLA Staff participated during the District 5 National Night Out Against Crime Kickoff Event hosted by the Orlando Police Department and City of Orlando District 5 Commissioner Regina I. Hill. Free food and drinks, entertainment, giveaways and community resources were offered to the community at this event.
Prospera Annual Success Stories Luncheon in Central Florida

On September 5, 2018, HOLA Staff attended the Prospera 2018 Success Stories Luncheon in Orlando. The annual Success Stories Luncheon is a Prospera signature fundraising event that brings our community together to honor some outstanding clients. Alongside more than 500 attendees, Prospera celebrated the advancement of small businesses, Hispanic entrepreneurs, and the impact of their year-round services.


The 2018 Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando Business Conference

HOLA staff attended the 2018 Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando Business Conference. This year’s theme was the Power of NEXT. Over 75 company representatives from the Central Florida Region attended the event from August 15th through the 17th.
In the words of the HHCMO Board of Directors chairman, Paul Roldan, “this conference represents a special milestone in the trajectory of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando Business Conference as we celebrate 25 years of the Chamber empowering, motivating and building opportunities for entrepreneurs, leaders and business professionals in the Central Florida Region.”


Commissioner Samuel B. Ings Annual Job Fair

On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, HOLA Staff attended Commissioner Samuel B. Ings and Representative Bruce Antone's Annual Job Fair at the Dr. James R. Smith Center. More than twenty employers and community organizations participated during the event. A Seal and Expungement workshop was provided.


Prince of Peace Back to School Event

On Saturday, August 11, 2018, HOLA Staff attended the Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church Back to School Event. The children received backpacks with school supplies. They also offered vaccines for the children and information from vendors.


Meet the Teacher at Engelwood Elementary School

On Thursday, August 9, 2018, HOLA Staff attended the Meet the Teacher Event at Engelwood Elementary School. More than 300 parents and children attended the event and received information from many vendors. On this day, the parents had an opportunity to meet their children's school new Principal and teachers.


District 2 ROCK THE HOUSE Event

On August 7, 2018, HOLA Staff attended the District 2 ROCK THE HOUSE National Night Out Against Crime Kickoff Event hosted by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, City of Orlando District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz and Sedano's Supermarket where free food and drinks, entertainment, giveaways and community resources were offered for the community.


District 4 Back to School Backpack Giveaway

On Monday, August 7, 2018, HOLA Staff participated in the Back to School Backpack & Supply Giveaway for District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan. The children received backpacks filled with school supplies for the upcoming school year. To relieve the heat, children and their parents were given ice cream.The event took place at the Reeves Terrace Recreational Center.
Orange County Health and Family Fair

On August 4, 2018, HOLA Staff Assistant, Mrs. Sandra I. Camacho, attended the Orange County Health and Family Fair hosted by Orange County Mayor, Teresa Jacobs, the Osceola County Board of Commissioners and the Government of Puerto Rico. Many services, from assistance to get birth certificates, blood pressure tests, school registration, and more were provided to Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria.


District 5 Back to School Event

On Saturday, August 4, 2018, HOLA Staff attended District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill's Back to School Event. Backpacks filled with school supplies, shoes and food were given to over 600+ children that attended the event at the Callahan Neighborhood Center.
2018 Salvation Army Seniors Resource Fair

On Friday, August 3rd, HOLA Staff attended the 2018 Salvation Army Seniors Resource Fair where valuable information for seniors was made available. Topics discussed and services included were: learning about safety, health care, financial planning, veteran relief, therapies, balance and free HIV testing.


District 1 Back to School Event

On Thursday, August 2, 2018, HOLA Staff attended District 1 Commissioner Jim Gray's Back to School Event, where backpacks filled with school supplies were donated to children that attend the Summer Program at the Citrus Square Neighborhood Center.


2018 Orlando Police Department Hispanic Seniors Safety Summit

On Tuesday, August 1, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the 2018 OPD Hispanic Seniors Safety Summit. The event was specifically designed for Spanish speaking seniors and included crime prevention and safety presentations on topics such as: preventing residential burglaries, hands-only CPR and personal safety for senior citizens.



2018 City Showcase Buddy's Playlist

On Thursday, July 26, 2018, HOLA staff attended the 2018 City of Orlando Recreation Division Summer Showcase at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. More than 500 summer school students from 16 neighborhood centers (including Downtown Rec/PKZ) teamed up to build sets, write skits, block and choreograph dances for the showcase that was created and selected for them.




USCIS Oath Ceremony-National Refugee Day

On June 20, 2018, Mayor Buddy Dyer and Commissioner Samuel P. Ings signed a proclamation celebrating National Refugee Day and the HOLA Office participated in an Oath Ceremony at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Orlando Office, where 65 people became United States citizens.
Cleaning Authority-Orlando

On June 19, 2018, the HOLA Office received a donation from The Cleaning Authority-Orlando and we would like to thank the owner, Ms. JoAnn Goodman, for her donation of 400 pounds of canned foods and her continuous support to families in need.


9th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration

On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, and City of Orlando Clerk Office Staff Member, Jenovie Irizarry, attended the '9th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Business After Hours Event;" where local business leaders and business owners networked, had food tastings and celebrated their heritage and culture.
Pre-Mother's Day Event

On Saturday, May 12, 2018, HOLA Staff attended the "Fiesta a las Madres" Event sponsored by the Ser Colombia Organization in Orlando. The event's purpose was to collect funds to help children affected by the natural disasters in both, Mexico and Puerto Rico.


DNS Medical Mother's Day Event

On May 9, 2018, Dr. Norberto Fleites and staff celebrated Mother's Day for seniors from the community. HOLA participated by providing information about our services.
HE GOT UP Event Day 5

On May 5, 2018, HOLA Staff participated during the 2018 HE GOT UP Event Day 5 at the Northwest Community Center. This year's event was focused on legal services for the poor and under deserved and the sharing of information of local organizations.




Visit Orlando

On April 26, 2018, in commemoration of National Bring Your Child to Work Day, Visit Orlando invited the HOLA Office to give a presentation to their employees' children about the HOLA services. They also asked their employees to donate canned food.
After the presentation, our HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, helped the children prepare and color the paper bags, where they were going to put the donated food, with drawings and messages for people in need.




HE GOT UP Event Day 4

On April 21, 2018, HOLA Staff participated during the 2018 HE GOT UP Event Day 4 at the Engelwood Neighborhood Center. This year's event was focused on legal services for the poor and under deserved and the sharing of information of local organizations. At this event, free Hepatitis tests and vaccines were provided by the Orange County Health Department.


Fair Housing Act 50th Anniversary Celebration, Civil Rights Award Ceremony and Banquet

On April 12, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the Fair Housing Act 50th Anniversary Celebration, Civil Rights Award Ceremony and Banquet. The ceremony honored those who have dedicated their lives to fight for civil rights and commemorated the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


HE GOT UP Event Day 3

On April 7, 2018, HOLA Staff participated during the 2018 HE GOT UP Event Day 3 at the Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center. This year's event was focused on legal services for the poor and under deserved and the sharing of information of local organizations.
2018 Florida Puerto Rican Parade Gala

Our very own Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, will be receiving a recognition at the Florida Puerto Rican Parade Gala on Thursday, April 26, 2018 due to her unrelenting support to the Puerto Rican community after Hurricane Maria.
HE GOT UP Event Day 2

On March 24, 2018, HOLA Staff participated during the 2018 HE GOT UP Event Day 2 at the Rosemont Neighborhood Center. This year's event was focused on legal services for the poor and under deserved and the sharing of information of local organizations.
HE GOT UP Event Day 1

On March 10, 2018, HOLA Staff participated during the 2018 HE GOT UP Event Day 1 at the Dr. J.B. Callahan Neighborhood Center. This year's event was focused on legal services for the poor and under deserved and the sharing of information of local organizations.


District 1 Community Meetings

On February 27th, 28th and March 1st, HOLA Coordinator, joined District 1 Commissioner, Jim Gray during his community meetings where he shared district progress and future projects.
Keiser University 40th Anniversary

On February 27, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz attended the Keiser University's 40th Anniversary Celebration, here in Orlando. We would like to congratulate Keiser University on their 40th year of serving our community. Congratulations!

25th Annual Installation Luncheon

On February 16, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, attended the 25th Annual Installation Luncheon of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is celebrating 25 years assisting local businesses in our community.


Mayor Buddy Dyer’s 2018 Neighborhood & Community Summit

On February 10, 2018 the HOLA staff participated during the Mayor Buddy Dyer’s 13th Annual Neighborhood & Community Summit. More than 300 community leaders attended this year's summit. The participants had the opportunity to gather resources and information necessary to build strong, vibrant communities and organizations.
Literary Week

On January 24, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L Cruz, participated at the Azalea Park Elementary School Literacy Week. She read several books to a group of second graders.
Other City of Orlando staff that participated were: OPD Deputy Chief, Orlando Rolon, Office of Community Affairs, Dr. Giorginna Pinedo-Rolon and Director of Multicultural Affairs, Mr. Luis M. Martinez.
Public Relations Society of America Lunch Event

On January 18, 2018, HOLA Coordinator, Ana L. Cruz, participated in a panel alongside Mr. Scott Howat, Chief Communications Officer for OCPS and Mr. Mark Pino, Public Relations Officer for Osceola County, led by WFTV’s Channel 9 News Anchor Nancy Alvarez to discuss how Hurricane Maria has affected the lives of the Puerto Ricans who have moved to Florida, the communication challenges they’ve encountered and the impact it has had on Central Florida.
Visit of the Governor of Puerto Rico

On January 12, 2018, the City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and staff members welcomed and met with the Governor of Puerto Rico, Honorable Ricardo Rosselló. During the meeting the governor provided updates about the island of Puerto Rico and the recovery efforts after Hurricane María.
Cleaning Authority-Orlando

On December 28, 2017, a donation of 300 pounds of canned food from Ms. JoAnn Goodhope, owner of The Cleaning Authority-Orlando, was received by the HOLA Office for the families of the Puerto Rican evacuees’.
On the picture from left to right: Ms. Goodhope, Ana L Cruz (HOLA Coordinator) and The Cleaning Authority employee.
Getting Results Award

We would like to congratulate our HOLA Coordinator, Ms. Ana L. Cruz, who was the recipient of this months News 6 Getting Results Award . On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, reporter Matt Austin from News 6 recognized Ms. Cruz for making a difference in the community of Central Florida.


Puerto Rican Student Association Forum

HOLA Coordinator, Ms. Ana L. Cruz was invited to participate in the Impact of Hurricane Maria Forum at the University of Central Florida on Thursday, November 10, 2017. The forum focused on discussing the programs and services that are being offered to the evacuees of Puerto Rico.
District 2 Fall Festival

On Friday, October 27, 2017, the HOLA Office participated in District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz’s Fall Festival at the Engelwood Community Center.


Disaster Relief Center at the Orlando International Airport

The City of Orlando Hispanic Office for Local Assistance (HOLA) office has been welcoming and assisting evacuees from Puerto Rico that are arriving at the Orlando International Airport. HOLA and City staff have been providing information in regards to jobs, English classes, healthcare, and vision certificates.




DACA Event

On Saturday, September 30, 2017 the HOLA staff volunteered at an event organized by Mi Familia Vota, Consulate of Mexico, Hispanic Federation, Florida Immigrant Coalition and Hope Community Center. It was a free clinic dedicated to assisting DACA/Dreamers with the renewal of their application.


Hispanic Seniors Health & Wellness Fair

HOLA participated during the annual Hispanic Seniors Health & Wellness Fair at Engelwood Neighborhood Center on Friday, September 29, 2017.
FREEDOM2017: A Resolution to End Human Trafficking

On Thursday, September 28, 2017, the HOLA Staff assisted an event hosted by The Florida Abolitionist Organization and District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz. Community leaders, local businesses, media and community members came together to hear Orlando’s commitment to stopping human trafficking and to the showing of their new wall mural.


The City of Orlando Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff

The HOLA Staff participated at the Annual City of Orlando’s Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 to celebrate the rich and diverse Hispanic culture. The event included the Hispanic Heritage Art Exhibit, Latin folkloric dances, food, and entertainment.



District 4 Back to School Backpack Giveaway

The HOLA Team participated in the Back to School Backpack & Supply Giveaway for District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan. The children received backpacks filled with school supplies for the upcoming school year. The event took place on Monday, August 7, 2017 at the Reeves Terrace Apartments.


District 5 Back to School Celebration

HOLA Staff joined Commissioner Regina Hill and Orlando City Soccer Club on Saturday, August 5, 2017 for the Back to School Celebration. An event where health, wellness and educational resources were provided. In addition to food, fun activities and entertainment for the children of the community.
Prince of Peace Back to School Distribution

The Prince of Peace Lutheran Church held a School Supply Drive on Friday, August 4, 2017, HOLA Staff attended this event where bags with school supplies where provided for the children of the community. Blood tests, immunizations and blood sugar tests were also provided for free.


Orange County Public Schools PTA Presidents & Principals Annual Council Meeting

On Thursday, August 3, 2017, the HOLA Team participated in the Annual Meeting for the Orange County Council of PTA’s where community partners came together to support the interests and welfare of all children and youth.


National Night Out Hispanic Safety Summit

The HOLA Team participated in the National Night Out Event on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 that took place at the Engelwood Neighborhood Center. This summit was designed for Spanish speaking seniors where crime prevention and safety presentations from Spanish speaking officers was provided.


Back to School Bash

On July 29, 2017, the HOLA Team participated at the Back to School Bash event at the Iglesia Casa del Alfarero, they provided 500 backpacks with supplies.


Family Fun Fest

On July 15, 2017, the HOLA Team participated in the District 2 Family Fun Fest at the Engelwood Neighborhood Center. The event was sponsored by Commissioner Tony Ortiz, We The Hispanic Women Chamber of Commerce and DNF Medical Centers.


Welcome Workshops

HOLA Staff participated in the welcome workshops available to new residents about important aspects of living and relocating into Central Florida. The event took place on June 24, 2017 at the Chickasaw Public Library Branch.
Orlando United Day

On June 12, 2017, also known as Orlando United Day, the City of Orlando and Orange County came together to honor the victims, the survivors and the families from the Pulse tragedy. HOLA staff assisted at the City of Orlando welcoming tent at Lake Eola Park.
Seniors Prom Event

On June 9, 2017, the HOLA Office participated during a Seniors Prom Event at the Engelwood Neighborhood Center more than 100 seniors attended.
Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit

HOLA staff attended the Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit (OYES) event on May 6, 2017, OYES empowers Central Florida LGBTQ+ youth, community members and allies.
Mayor’s City Academy

On May 4, 2017, the HOLA Office gave a presentation at the City of Orlando Emergency Operations Center during the 2017 Mayor’s City Academy.


District 2 Gateway Orlando Rebranding

On March 23, 2017, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz, Gateway Orlando District and area residents celebrated the unveiling of the new branding for the Semoran Boulevard corridor; Gateway Orlando.

HOLA staff participated in the celebration of District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz new branding for Semoran Boulevard corridor; Gateway Orlando.


Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Neighborhood & Community Summit

The HOLA staff volunteered at Mayor Buddy Dyer’s annual Neighborhood & Community Summit on March 18, 2017.
LGBTQ Community Meeting

HOLA staff attended an LGBTQ Community Meeting and Job Fair that took place for the first time at the Acacia Banquet Hall on February 2, 2017.
Three Kings Event

The HOLA Team participated in the 2017 National Latino Peace Officers Association Three Kings Event which took place in Azalea Park Elementary on January 7, 2017.


Florida Abolitionist New Office Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

On December 8, 2016, HOLA staff attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new offices for the Florida Abolitionist organization on the property of the Calvary Church in Orlando.



Seniors Program Luncheon

The HOLA Staff volunteered during the Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon, sponsored by Sedanos Supermarket, for the Engelwood Center Seniors Program on November 16, 2016.
Health Fair

On December 3, 2016, the HOLA Office participated during the First Azalea Park Church Health Fair in District 2.
District 5 Fall Festival

On October 29, 2016 the HOLA office participated during District 5 Commissioner Regina I. Hill’s Unity in the Community Fall Festival at Lizzie Rodgers Park.
District 2 Fall Festival

El 28 de octubre del 2016 la oficina de HOLA participo durante el Festival de Otoño de el Comisionado Tony Ortiz en el Centro Comunitario Engelwood.

Spanish