PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Visions is 6abc's tribute to Hispanic Heritage month. The celebration began on Sept. 15 and marks the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The Hispanic population in the U-S now tops 60 million people and locally, Hispanic Americans are making major contributions to the region. Let's meet some of them.
Brazilian jujitsu instructor reeducating police on apprehension skills
Since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, law enforcement officers have been under more scrutiny than ever.
Brazilian martial arts expert Alexandre Quintella offers free training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to police officers.
He believes that even a basic knowledge of some techniques will help officers be able to subdue suspects without harm.
412 W. MacDade Boulevard, Folsom, PA 19033
New food truck bring the taste of Dominican Republic to Philly
Feltonville entrepreneur Jose Luis Reynoso was an accomplished chef in his home country of the Dominican Republic.
He and his wife, Ana Rogue, bought a food truck shortly before COVID-19 hit, after years of doing cooking videos for the chef's own YouTube channel.
After a three-month closure, Chef Jose is back making a variety of dishes with an international flair.
700 E. Hunting Park Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19124
The truck is parked next to a strip mall at Hunting Park Ave. and 'G' Street
Meet the gourmet behind new brasserie The Wayward
In the newly revived neighborhood of Market East, The Wayward is an American Brasserie serving French-inspired bistro favorites.
Executive Chef Yun Fuentes was born and raised in Puerto Rico and came up through the food scene ranks with Iron Chef Jose Garces right here in Philadelphia.
He now calls Philly home and oversees the new restaurant, which features a raw bar and the largest gin collection in Philadelphia, plus outdoor seating on a lush private patio.
1170 Ludlow Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
History making Latino Mayor Eddie Moran revitalizing Reading
Eddie Moran is the 84th Mayor of Reading, Pennsylvania. But he is the first Latino to hold the office and the first Latino to lead a large city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Born in Puerto Rico, Moran grew up in Brooklyn before moving to Reading 12 years ago. He became an advocate in the school district for his son who suffers from autism. That led him on an unlikely political journey as he felt compelled to be a voice for his community.
According to the latest census data, Reading's population is more than 60 percent Latino. With the city recovering from near bankruptcy and severe poverty, Moran hopes he can help inspire the city to invest in itself.
815 Washington Street, Reading PA 19601
Double-lung transplant recipient raising awareness for organ donations for Latinos
As part of our Visions Special highlighting Hispanic American Heritage Month, we profile Luis Palau, Jr., a Philadelphia resident of Puerto Rican descent, who received a life-saving double-lung transplant from the Gift of Life Donor Program.
Two years ago, Palau, Jr. 51 was diagnosed with a rare type of pneumonia. The infection accelerated and he was taken to Temple Hospital and intubated.
Unfortunately, Palau, Jr. fell into a coma for three months, during which he had a near-death experience. Soon after, he received the double-lung transplant through the Gift of Life Donor Program.
Now, with a new set of lungs and a renewed appreciation for life, Luis is on a mission to increase awareness about the need for organ donation.
401 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
To register to be an organ donor, go to donors one.org
Latino Voting & Census: A Push to get out the vote and have every person counted
In a normal election season, voter registration events would be popping up all around the region. But due to COVID-19, many of those boots on the ground mobilization operations are now voices gone virtual.
There is a coalition of Latino leaders working to energize the Latino vote in November. Registration among Hispanic voters in Philadelphia is high but turnout tends to be low. The city elections office has created a mail-in voting guide available in 10 languages and the city is opening seven satellite voting centers around the city where you can register to vote, apply for a mail-in ballot and even complete and return your ballot on site.
The city also created Philly Counts, an effort to boost participation in the 2020 census.
Nilda Ruiz heads APM's community efforts
Associación Puertorriquenos en Marcha or APM was founded in 1970 by a group of returning Vietnam veterans who saw a need in their community.
50 years later, it is one of the region's leading Latino advocacy organizations, offering everything from housing assistance and health care to early childhood education.
Nilda Ruiz is being celebrated for bringing the organization back from the brink of bankruptcy and setting it up for the next generation.
APM | Facebook
1900 N 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Help for Latino community amid COVID-19
The Dominican American Chamber of Commerce was in the works for a few years but just got IRS approval in March, just in time to help local Latino businesses apply for government disaster loans and grants to recover from the pandemic.
Dominican American Chamber of Commerce | Facebook
153 W. Wyoming Ave, Philadelphia, Pa 19140
215-758-7841 | email@example.com
With the restaurant industry clobbered by COVID-19, The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is hoping to boost restaurant business with Dine Latino Restaurant Week, Sept. 30-Oct. 4th. Many of the participating restaurants are offering special deals.
It's estimated that nearly 40% of hospitality workers in Philadelphia remain out of work. Iron Chef Jose Garces is using his Garces Foundation to help. As soon as the pandemic hit, the foundation launched a food pantry program that operates Thursdays and Sundays, distributing boxes of food designed to feed a family for a week
The Garces Foundation Food Pantry | 267-284-7905 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dine Latino Restaurant Week | September 30-October 4th
6abc Town Hall: State of the Latino Community | Action News Facebook
7pm, September 30th, with Walter Perez and Latino community leaders