Hola Amigos y Amigas-
On Saturday, October 14, 2017, the Metropolitan Savannah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MSAVHCC) will host the Savannah Hispanic Heritage Parade and Sabor Latino Cultural Festival as part of Hispanic Heritage Month (celebrated each year from September 15th through October 15th).
I offer a special thanks to outstanding support from the City of Savannah, its Mayor and council members; the Savannah Restaurant Corp and its multiple Burger King franchise restaurants; other important business sponsors including Wells Fargo Bank, Edible Arrangements, and our media partner,WSAV-TV; and chamber members who support our efforts through advertising in this publication, for making this dream a reality.
Our parade will take place along the beautiful tree-lined streets of Oglethorpe, Price and Liberty in downtown Savannah Georgia. Our goal is to empower our community, and, in particular, our youth, by promoting civic pride, celebrating the history of Hispanics, and increasing awareness of Latin America's diverse cultural heritage.
Planning began in earnest earlier this year, but in reality, we have been working toward this parade and festival ever since our formation three years ago. Since that time, the Savannah Hispanic Chamber has been a champion for the creation and promotion of Hispanic-owned businesses in a region that has become a very friendly place for Hispanics to live and work to fulfill the innate entrepreneurial spirit that is characteristic of our culture.
Today, the word “Savannah” is synonymous with tourism and Hispanic tourism is growing exponentially as our community accepts the new challenge of being “Hispanic Friendly” by attracting visitors from throughout Latin America. this inaugural Hispanic Heritage parade is sure to attract visitors from nearby cities as well as out-of-state visitors who will get a first-hand glimpse of our legendary hospitality.
Just recently, a preliminary study by the Pew Research Center indicated that many Georgia counties have seen a decrease in the Hispanic population in recent years. But, amazingly, the study revealed a 27% increase in Hispanic population growth in Chatham County since 2010. I have no doubt that this turnaround is due, in part, to the work of the Hispanic Chamber and its marketing of Hispanics as an economic development force to be reckoned with.
Now as our public face continues to grow, we stand poised for even more progress in economic development. As we have always stated, I want our chamber to be the bridge between local Hispanics and our non-Hispanic neighbors. The more we know about each other’s culture, history, needs, wants, and yes, worship styles, the stronger our business alliances will be... and most importantly, the stronger our city will be.
Thank You all! / Gracias de Corazon!
Respectfully, Alfonso Ribot