Concilio honors ‘the Puerto Rican woman’ at 50th anniversary gala

    The Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations (Concilio) celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Puerto Rican Festival Awards Gala, held on Sept. 22 at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing.

    Concilio, a nonprofit established in 1962 by Carlos Morales and other Puerto Rican community leaders, provides health, educational, and cultural programs and services, including foster care, adoptions, summer youth programs, housing, counseling, and immunization.

    Among the 420 guests were Philadelphia Councilmenber Maria Quinones Sanchez, Philadelphia Managing Director Rich Negrin, Congreso board chair Ken Trujillo, Concilio executive director Joanna Otero-Cruz and Alba Martinez, the evening’s emcee.

    In keeping with the gala’s theme, “the Puerto Rican woman,” Martinez presented the Citizen of the Year Award to Sara Manzano Diaz, the Community Service Award to Luz Selena Salas, the Latino Youth Award to Ashley Hernandez, and the Lifetime Achievement Award to Iris Violeta Colon.

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    Guests danced the night away and enjoyed the eight-member Jimmy George band and a dance performance by the local Latino folklore group La Familiar Rojas, which performed the traditional Puerto Rican dance bomba y plena.

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