Provided by Hispanic Organization for Leadership & Action (HOLA)
HOLA board members and community leaders gathered on Thursday at Todos Supermarket in Woodbridge to formally launch the Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action (HOLA). HOLA is a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, primarily serving the communities of Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park, that seeks to empower the Latino community through general education, civic engagement, and leadership.
“We are fortunate to live in a state that has a rich history of Hispanic engagement. Hispanics are able to trace their heritage and contributions to the state back 500 years, almost a full century before Jamestown. We make up more than nine percent of the total state population and in Prince William County are twenty-two percent of the county population (up from four percent in 1990),” said HOLA Chair Sindy Benavides. “Our goal is to work hand in hand with our community by having events and programs that increase engagement and foster collaborations.
Carlos Castro, founding board member of HOLA and successful business owner of Todos Supermarket, stated, “Today, Hispanics are thriving in all work sectors, from starting businesses as entrepreneurs, to serving in government, to working in blue collar jobs. I am a clear example of the work ethic that we bring to our great Commonwealth and the commitment we have to give back to our community at all levels”.
In the last few months, HOLA has focused on increasing general awareness about health, including how to access healthcare. HOLA has also worked with Freedom High School and Fred Lynn Middle School to provide career development information, diabetes awareness education, as well as information on colleges and universities to students and families. Recently the organization launched a community workshop series that includes topics about how the public school system works, civic engagement, health, and leadership, and has facilitated several voter registration events. HOLA is collaborating with local, regional, and statewide organizations to work on a common inclusive agenda that seeks to build bridges and dispel inaccurate myths about immigrants.
HOLA will be based in Woodbridge. For more information please feel free to contact HOLA’s Program Director, Jose Pedro Guallar at 571-365-9620 or via email at [email protected].