Hispanic Heritage Month Gala 2023

Saturday, September 16, 2023
6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sanders Beach – Corinne Jones Resource Center
913 S I St, Pensacola, FL 32502

Join us for a unique celebration of cultural presentations,
elegant four-course dinner, drinks and dancing


Presented by
Latino Media Gulf Coast, Inc. | La Costa Latina Newspaper
assisted by Krewe de Karnaval

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Event Organizer
Grace Resendez McCaffery
Latino Media Gulf Coast, Inc.
La Costa Newspaper
Hispanic Resource Center of
Northwest Florida

Keynote Speaker
Fernanda Herrera Spieler
Guest Speaker
Vanessa Mayes
Global Corner
Fernanda Herrera Spieler Vanessa Mayes

Proclamation Presentation
City of Pensacola
Adrian Cuyuch
City of Pensacola seal

Raíces Panameñas
Zuly Mitchell
Geraldyn Martinez
Geraldyn Martinez

Willie Panamá
Panamanian American international artist, singer, composer, musician and movie actor
Live Music
Reina Sang

Classically trained professional pianist, composer and educator
Light and Sound Provided by
Vasco Milord
DJ Vasco Logo

Luna Maya Photography
Joe’s Caribe
Dessert Catering:
Karelys Puertorican Bakery
Luna Maya Photography logo Joe's Caribe logo

2023 Hispanic Heritage Month Gala Pensacola posterMUCHISIMAS GRACIAS TO OUR SPONSORS:
Global Corner | Ramirez Hormaza Law Group | The Watson Firm | iXL Real Estate | Community Health Northwest Florida | She Blessed Property Partners | Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce | Florida Power & Light | Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council

This elegant formal event includes a four-course dinner, presentations, cash bar, music and dancing.

Dinner options:

Churrasco Steak Chimichurri Chicken Chile Lime Salmon Vegan Tofu Chicken
A delicious plate of Churrasco Steak, featuring with fresh asparagus and ripe tomatoes Homemade Grilled Chimichurri Chicken Breast Ready to Eat Grilled salmon with lime and pepper. Closeup of backed marinated tofu with soy sauce on a blue plate.

All meals prepared by Hispanic chefs of Pensacola
Appetizer, Salad & Entrée: Joe’s Caribe Caribbean Cuisine (Joe Perez)
Dessert: Karelys Puerto Rican Bakery (Karelys Perez)

Photos from 2022 Gala

FERNANDA HERRERA SPIELER: Fernanda arrived to the United States from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico when she was two years old and grew up undocumented, eventually acquiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. As a college student in Birmingham, Alabama she became involved in immigrant rights advocacy efforts, travelling to Washington, D.C. to lobby for DACA and Deferred Action for Parents of Childhood Arrivals (DAPA). She served on various panels about her experience after the passage of HB-56, the nation’s harshest anti-immigrant law. After graduating from college, Fernanda attended Loyola University Chicago School of Law and continued her fight for immigrant rights, working at various non-profit organizations aiding clients with T-Visa, U-Visa, Asylum, and Cancellation of Removal petitions to secure their futures in the United States away from dangerous conditions in their home countries. Additionally, Fernanda continued her individual advocacy efforts while in law school. She published Op-Ed pieces, was featured in podcasts, and attended the Supreme Court hearing on the legality of DACA, Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of Univ. of California. She also helped run the campaign that secured her mother’s prompt release from the Irwin Detention Center when her mother was arrested and flagged for ICE following a minor traffic stop during Fernanda’s first year of law school. Fernanda graduated law school in 2021 and lives with her spouse in Nashville, TN.

VANESSA MAYES: Vanessa was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, lived in Colombia, Bogotá and Caracas, Venezuela before moving to San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has traveled extensively throughout her life and knows the value of expanding horizons for young children and the impact it has on the entire community. When she first heard about The Global Corner many years ago, she knew immediately that she wanted to be a part of “Bringing the World to Life – One Child at a Time.” She has been an advocate and proponent for global competence, cultural understanding and appreciation in our local elementary schools for many years. Today, she continues her work enabling our young citizens to develop a holistic worldview, encouraging critical thinking, celebrating international diversity, and increasing global awareness

WILLIE PANAMÁ: Willie Panamá  ( born William L. Duguid ) is a Panamanian American international artist, singer, composer, musician and movie actor, he’s an all-around artist in the genre of salsa, calypso, reggae, kompa and latin jazz.

Willie is a United States Decorated Marine Veteran and former United States Justice Department Criminal Detention and Deportation Officer.     

His mission is to heal and perform great music for the world and U.S. Disabled Veterans. 

Willie started drumming at the age of 9 and his favorite instrument is the TIMBALES! In 1995, he started his professional solo career as a singer and percussionist and has worked with the best in the music industry. 

He has recorded in 16 music productions, mainly in different styles of music. Invited numerous times by Panamanian Jazz Pianist Danilo Perez to teach master classes for the Panama’ Jazz Festival, Willie has performed as a background vocalist for the 25th New York Salsa Festival in the Madison Square Garden, the Midsummer Night Swing Concerts at the famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the grand Rotterdam Carnival in Holland and the  prestigious Cannes International Film Festival Mint Party in France and the list goes on!

He has toured all over Europe, Canada, Mexico the Caribbean and South America and is a SAG and ASCAP member. 

Has been an exclusive artist for renowned companies such as Sabian , Gon Bops, Tycoon and now he’s an exclusive artist for Soultone Cymbals.

He shared the big screen with actors such as Denzel Washington,  Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Ernest Lee Thomas and Spike Lee in Malcom X . Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, LL Cool J, Dennis Quaid, the late Jim Brown and Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday. Chiko Mendez,  Acie Mitchell, Angel Salazar in Engaging, also Chat, and El Padre Alberto.

He’s acquainted with Hollywood actors such as Erik Estrada known as Poncherello in the television series CHiPs, actress Dee Wallace as Mary Taylor in the blockbuster film E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, actress Cathy Lee Crosby as the original Wonder Woman, actor George Takei as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, known as Mr. Sulu in the original Star Trek television series, actress Jo Marie Payton best known for her roles as Harriette Baines Winslow on the ABC/CBS sitcom Family Matters and the list goes on.

Willie also has friends in the sports spectrum such as boxing champion legend of Panama, Roberto Hands of Stone Duran, former light heavyweight champion Michael Moorer, the late light welterweight champion Aaron Pryor, former professional major league baseball right fielder Sammy Sosa, former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman, former professional basketball player Charles Barkley, former basketball player Dwyane Wade, from Panama and close friend the all time jockey legend Laffit Pincay jr. and  panamanian former baseball pitcher star for the New York Yankees Mariano Rivera.

Willie Panama has also made acquaintances with the late actor Sidney Poitier, comedian and actor Tommy Davidson, original cast member on the comedy TV show In Living Color, stand up comedian and actor Andrew Dice Clay and actor and stand up comedian Bill Bellamy. 

Willie has been a guest on the Television talk show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, stars Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford, and also on the spanish television talk show, El Show de Cristina, CNN , Telemundo, Galavision, Univision, America TV, European TV in France, Holland, Belgium, Austria and the list goes on

He formed part of the Tributo a la Salsa Colombiana that  won a Gold record in Mexico for a song he co-wrote for the album.

Has shared the stage with legends such as Celia Cruz, Oscar D Leon, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico,  Joe Arroyo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Don Omar, Tito Nieves, Tony Vega, Orquesta La Luz of Japan, Sergio George, Alberto Barros , DLG , Maelo Ruiz , Andy Montañez , Diego Gale, Alfredo de La Fe, Ruben Blades, Orlando Watusi Castillo, Felix Shakaito Suarez, Roberto Blades, Adalberto Santiago, Los Van Van de Cuba and the list goes on !

He’s acquainted with jazz, rock, pop and country legends such as Herbie Hancock, Gloria Estefan, Billy Ray Cyrus, Danilo Perez, John Patitucci , Billy Gibbons, Jose Feliciano, Tom Patitucci, Jon Secada, Eva Ayllon, Susana Baca, Brian Blade, Luis Marin and from Cuba Omara Portuondo, Chucho Valdes and the list goes on.

Willie Panama’ has been recognized by the United States Congress receiving a Congressional Recognition, also by the Mayor of the City of New York, the Senator of the State of Florida, the Governor of the State of Florida, Mayors in Cities of Miami Florida and the Mayor, Governor, Consuls,  Ambassadors of the Republic of Panama’, the City of Calgary Canada, California State Legislature and New Jersey State Legislature.

Has worked and performed for music producer Emilio Estefan Jr. and he’s currently performing his Keep it Moving Tour. 

For more information visit www.williepanama.com 

REINA SANG: Reina Sang is a classically trained professional pianist, composer and educator.  She has performed for numerous private and public events for more than twenty-five years, making an effort to balance her engagements to allow for providing music education to students of all ages, diverse backgrounds, and those with special needs.  She has directed Outreach Programs to enrich the lives of children and organized community events to showcase student performers.  Most recent production include the Children’s Theater Company, “KIDS WITH A CAUSE!”

Ms. Sang’s notable engagements include: Pianist with the Original James Brown Tribute Band, Performance at the Jacksons Patriarch’s Birthday Celebration, Gala Opening pianist for the Lady Diana Exhibit, Repeat Performer with the Foundation for Democracy in Africa.

A native New Yorker, Ms. Sang now resides part time in South Florida.