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The 7th annual AL DÍA Archetypes Gala held at The Union League on Friday, Sept. 23. Photo: Peter Fitzpatrick/AL DÍA News.
The 7th annual AL DÍA Archetypes Gala held at The Union League on Friday, Sept. 23. Photo: Peter Fitzpatrick/AL DÍA News.

2022 AL DÍA Archetypes give concrete evidence that Latinos are capable of anything

Through this annual event highlighting America’s Hispanic Heritage, the point is made that the influence of Latinos can be felt in every area of our society.

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Over the past seven years, the AL DÍA Archetypes Gala has seen a major evolution.

Starting out as a luncheon honoring four notable Latino leaders for their contributions within their respective fields, within a half-decade, it has grown to honor 10 from different walks of life and different fields of work, bonded by the commonality of their Latino heritage and culture.

The event has truly become the premier celebration of America’s Hispanic Heritage. 

Beginning last year, the name of the annual event was rebranded to honor the legacy of Manuel Torres, the first Colombian Ambassador to the United States. 

The year 2022 marks the 200th year anniversary of Torres’ death — right here in the city of Philadelphia, the birthplace of this nation. 

As individuals filled the Lincoln Hall room of the Union League of Philadelphia for the annual event, a clear point can be made.

“Hispanics are not only part of the past, but also a part of the present and more importantly are the future,” said Hernán Guaracao, AL DÍA founder, CEO and publisher. 

Whether in the categories of corporate leadership, sports, philanthropy, media, performing arts, entrepreneurship, health, education, public service, nonprofit or anything in between, the contributions of Latinos within our society are near and far and simply cannot be overstated. 

The AL DÍA Archetypes Gala serves to acknowledge, highlight and celebrate those contributions.

During his remarks at the Gala, Colombian Ambassador The Honorable Luis Gilberto Murillo noted that those contributions are often not recognized at the level that it should be.

Those contributions have not been without struggle. Nonetheless, it is through those struggles that growth can shine through. 

“The need and the importance of breaking barriers, obstacles and walls to continue growing and learning from others is particularly important,” said Ambassador Murillo. 

Growth is one of the many qualities that each of the 10 honorees have displayed throughout their lives, journeys, and careers.

Take José Vélez Silva of Comcast, for example.

As he navigated between the marketing industries in Puerto Rico and the United States, his passion for storytelling on and about his community never wavered. In fact, it has only grown.

“It is with passion and conviction that as marketers and corporate leaders that we must continue to maintain our Hispanic and multicultural culture here in the US,” said Vélez Silva as he accepted his Archetype award in the category of corporate leadership.  

Storytelling has also been very important for Jacqueline Hernández of New Majority Ready, the Archetype in the category of media.

It was “the power to inform, entertain and enrich people’s lives” that drove her into the industry. 

Throughout her career, her approach has always been how to do so in a fashion that allows her to represent her Hispanic community. 

“I think the big highlight of my life and my professional career has been the opportunity to properly represent [our] values in media, and to also promote the power that our community has economically, socially, in pop culture, literally, across the board,” said Hernández. 

When it comes to the topic of struggle, Rubén Amaro Jr. of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Archetype in the category of sports, highlighted the struggles his father and grandfather faced.

“My dad has incredible stories about how difficult it was as a man of color going through the minor league system and the St. Louis Cardinals system,” he noted.

Amaro Jr. notes that the successes he’s had throughout his life and career “doesn’t happen unless my dad goes through these struggles, unless so many people before me go through these struggles.”

The night also promoted the influence of giving back and empowering others within the Latino community.

This is what the late Jesse Bermudez — the Archetype in the category of performing arts — decided his life to.

For over 40 years, he provided paths for the Latino music community in Philadelphia to grow into depths in which it had never reached before. 

If there is one takeaway that can be gathered from this historic night, and continuously growing premier event, it can be summed up in the words of Maria Elena Salinas, “The Voice of Hispanic America.” 

“The archetypes of our common American history are a reminder for every child watching that their dreams are never too big,” she said. 

Whether influencing the future of education, improving health conditions of your surrounding community, becoming a business owner, utilizing your athleticism to become a professional athlete, reshaping the narrative of your community, or changing lives through philanthropy efforts, those are all possible avenues to make your mark and leave an inspiring legacy.

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