Hispanic Chamber of Commerce | St. Louis Public Radio

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The Playback NOW! St. Louis cast poses with immigration storytelling volunteer Junior Lara (middle).
Joan Lipkin

Junior Lara distinctly remembers the day he was approved for his U.S. green card. It was 1993, and he was nine years old. It was the first time he had ever signed his name.

A year later, Lara, his mother and three brothers moved from the Dominican Republic to New York City to reunite with his father who had been working for years to bring his family to the U.S.

(L-R) Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano, Amina Musa and Kristy Jackson discussed the advancement of women in the workplace.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

2018 has been coined as another “year of the woman” due to the political strides made during the midterm elections, where women voting in record-breaking numbers and entered more political offices. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh explored other platforms where women are advancing and how various local organizations are creating environments for women to thrive and grow professionally.

Joining Marsh were three women whose organizations are collaborating and focusing on empowering women in the workplace. 

Do you have a favorite shopping event for unique holiday gifts? Tell us in the comments section below!
yainea | flickr

Big box stores and online retailers have their place in holiday shopping routines. But, if you’re seeking some out-of-the-box gift ideas, here are a few shopping events where you can find them.

Plus, spending some of your holiday dollars at a local event means money in the pocket of local artisans, creators and small business owners.

(L-R) Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano, Carol Lara and Ness Sandoval talk about the experience of running small businesses and the influence of Hispanic businesses in the region.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

While Missouri may not be the first state that comes to mind as home to a thriving Hispanic/Latino population, data shows that the demographic is growing rapidly and in turn directly impacting the economics of the region.

Over a span of five years, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the region has increased by 42 percent, according to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis. Additionally, Missouri ranks sixth in the nation for its number of Hispanic residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the influence Hispanic business owners have on the region in light of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) with Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano, business counselor at the HCC and co-host of the bilingual business podcast DmeToo.

Stakeholders attend a New American Alliance community meeting to discuss ways to better serve and connect with new immigrants to St. Louis.
Jacquelyn Ballard | New American Alliance

Recent immigrants to St. Louis have a new resource they can tap when adjusting to life in the United States.

The New American Alliance is a referral system for immigrants and refugees that started to take shape this past summer.

For example, if a recent refugee needs help finding a job, access to healthcare, or an affordable place to live, the Alliance reviews their situation and connects them to an organization that can help.

Dancers perform at the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration at Holy Trinity Parish on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014.
Camille Phillips | St.Louis Public Radio

At Holy Trinity Catholic Parish in St. Ann, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is cause for major celebration. The north St. Louis County church honored the patron saint of Mexico last month with a special mass attended by more than 300 people, many of them Hispanic.

When the church bell struck noon, the parishioners processed around the church with an icon of the patron saint, singing songs in Spanish, led by a mariachi band. Inside the sanctuary, dancers in red moved to the beat of a drum, and the priest gave a blessing to the children.

(courtesy of the St. Louis Media History Foundation)

A local media history group has acquired nine issues of the region’s first bi-lingual business paper.

 The St. Louis Media History Foundation announced on Monday that it had purchased the copies of El Comercio del Valle from a private collector.

El Comercio del Valle — the Commerce of the Valley — began publishing in St. Louis in 1876 and was distributed all along the Mississippi River, said Frank Absher, the executive director of the foundation. The first publisher would eventually become the Mexican Consul in St. Louis.

(Courtesy: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis)

The Hispanic community in the St. Louis region is expanding and for more than 30 years, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis has supported and promoted Hispanic owned businesses.

In 2009, the Chamber established a charitable arm, the HCC STL Foundation, which focuses on youth, workforce development and education.  The Chamber’s Latino Leadership Institute (LLI) is a skills-based leadership training program for young Hispanic professionals.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 9, 2009 - U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., was in some ways the Man of the Hour today as he mingled with leaders and allies of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis at its grand opening of a new technology and resource center.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 5, 2009 - On a recent weekday evening, about two dozen people gathered at the cozy Nicaraguan restaurant Fritanga to celebrate the inauguration of El Salvador's new president, a leftist former television host named Mauricio Funes.

"It's good to be here to celebrate a happy day," said Marilyn Lorenz, program coordinator of the nonprofit group St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America, just moments before reading translated excerpts from the inauguration speech. Her audience was a mix of Central American natives and St. Louis natives who travel frequently to that part of the world. (Lorenz has been to El Salvador 16 times.)