Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates hard work, leadership, and community. Unsung heroes in Nashville, high school students, and trailblazers.

We presented our Orgullo Hispano, or Hispanic Pride, Award recognizing unsung heroes in our community: Latino adults or young people who have been persistently working to better their community.

Keitlyn Alcantra founded Sazón Nashville and we appreciate her work teaching Nashville’s youth to be proud of their culinary roots, and the work she does to build community through food.

Gabi Castillo – a Conexión Américas board member from 2006 – 2008, has long been an advocate for the Latino community in Nashville and helps make sure the Davidson County Clerk’s Office’s offices welcome all Nashvillians, regardless of where they are from.

We recognized Cesar Virto for his bravery to publicly share his immigration story, for connecting with communities of faith and for advocating for more humane policies and treatment of immigrants.

Every year during Hispanic Heritage Month, we also recognize a non-Latino individual whose work has promoted the vision of a welcoming Tennessee.

This year the award went to several amigos and amigas. The Nashville Welcoming Committee, a diverse grassroots coalition mobilizing in solidarity with people and families being released from border detention centers into cities around the US.

We also announced the winners of our Young Latino Writers’ Contest. The purpose of this contest is to listen to the voices of young people reflecting on the theme “My Hispanic Roots, My American Dream.”

We honored four finalists: Jessky Guevara, Juan José Escamilla Vargas, Kennedy Brito, and Keysi Lacunza, with the grand prize going to Carmela Plata-Sanchez.

Gracias again to our Hispanic Heritage Month Sponsors Nissan, HCA Healthcare, Dollar General, CMT, and our event sponsor Nashville Soccer Club.