Hispanic Heritage Month 2018

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On October 9 the Council held a Hispanic Heritage Month Commemoration hosted by Councilmember Nancy Navarro. The event included a discussion with Hispanic and Latino leaders in Montgomery County whose work has helped to shape our community. Panelists shared their life experiences and achievements and discuss issues of importance for Hispanic and Latino residents in the County.

Hispanic Heritage Month Commemoration - Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions

Hispanic Heritage Month 2018


"Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions"

Nelly Carrión

Director of Washington Hispanic

Nelly Carrión is the  Director of the Washington Hispanic newspaper. A respected part of the community since 1994, Washington Hispanic is the key to reaching this largely untapped group of consumers with substantial, rising buying power. This is the only independent Spanish-language newspaper serving Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas, home to nearly 750,000 Hispanics. This award-winning publication has a high profile throughout the Washington metropolitan area with more than 720,000 readers and a distribution of nearly 45,000. It is available in 88 metro stations and an additional 800 locations throughout the area.

Julio Güity-Guevara

Afro-Latino Leader
Picture of Julio Güity-Guevara

As a proud Washingtonian and member of the Afro-Indigenous Garifuna People, Julio focuses on creating economic opportunities, reducing income inequalities and fighting climate change.

In 2002, Julio began his career in international development by joining the Organization of American States (OAS) as an Attorney Fellow for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In this capacity, he participated in the litigation of cases submitted before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica. Julio subsequently joined the Inter-American Development Bank and later, the World Bank. In these institutions, he served in several departments as a legal advisor, project attorney and compliance review specialist.

Under Julio’s leadership, Afro-Latinos in Washington, DC have formed partnerships with other organizations that focus on building the capacity of low-income communities in Latin America. By favoring diplomacy and accountability, Julio strives to succeed in a culturally diverse environment where internal bureaucracy and budgetary pressures are inevitable.

He holds a Masters of Laws in International Business from Washington College of Law, American University. He previously practiced law in Honduras and has been living in Washington, DC since 2002.

Miguel Lara

Chef and Owner, Chef Lara Spices
Picture of Miguel Lara

A chef with international reach, Miguel Lara was born in San Salvador, El Salvador on August 26, 1969.

He has made cooking a cornerstone of his life and his prowess has made him one of the most renowned Hispanic members of the culinary community of the Washington metropolitan area.

He arrived in the United States at the age of 17, and the following year began working at the Bethesda Marriott. He graduated in gourmet cuisine from the PCDI in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2006.

He has been an instructor for the National Association of Restaurants since 2009.

Lara worked for Marriott Hotel and Resorts in several management and food and drink service positions between 1990 and 2005. For three years he was apprenticed to Patrick Huchenson of Germany, head chef at the University of Maryland University College. In addition he worked for three years as a chef specializing in kosher food for the U.S. Department of State.

He created “Gourmet Spices by Me,” and if you ask him his favorite dish, he’ll say anticuchos. He is enamored with Peruvian and Mexican cuisine, but considers the foods of Spain and Argentina close to his heart, too.

He has been the head chief at The Taste of Peru in Washington DC since 2012. Lara’s leadership and knowledge of international cuisine led him to his election as culinary director of The Taste of Peru, the largest Peruvian culinary event in Washington.

Dr. Maria Sprehn Malagón

Author and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Montgomery College

Maria Sprehn-Malagón teaches anthropology at Montgomery College in Germantown, Maryland. A native Washingtonian, she received her PhD and MA degrees in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Her current research focuses on migration history and Latino culture in the Washington, DC area. In 2014 she co-authored a pictorial history on Latinos in the Washington Metro Area. She has conducted museum-based projects and fieldwork in the U.S., Mexico, and Spain.