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Inside the Beltway is a short collection of photo essays that chronicle a day in the life inside the DC Beltway, with a focus on the Latino community and their influence on the Beltway.

Each series of photos essays and articles is an attempt to shine a light on the positive effects of the emerging American Latino community. The images break down the stereotypes that exist between American Latinos and other members of the community.

On Saturday, April 12, 2014 Casa Hispanic de Virginia hosted their spring kickoff for 2014. This kickoff started their fundraising season by inviting members of the community, business leaders, artists, sport’s figures and local politicians to attend their kickoff.

Among the organizations that have been long time supporter of Casa Hispana de Virginia and co-host of the event were: the Ibero American Business Council, Women United by Hope, Viva Mi Patria Bolvia, Alma Boliviana, Tinkus San Simon USA, the U.S. Bolivia Chamber of Commerce and the Latino Coalition.

It was also great to see the strong influence of the Latino community here in Virginia as they rallied together several candidates who are currently running for office on both sides of the political spectrum, which is never an easy feat. Notable guests included the Mayor of Alexandria, Bill Euille, who is running for Virginia 8th Congressional District; Micah Edmond, a Republican candidate who is also running for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District; and Suzanne Scholte, the Republican candidate running for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District.

Last, but not least, it was great to hear success stories like that of Jennifer Salinas, who grew up in Northern Virginia and participated in Casa Hispana de Virginia’s programs. She is now know as “The Bolivian Queen” and is the current WBF (World Boxing Federation) Super Bantamweight Champion.

The night ended with music and celebration, when several artists, such as Dayan Aldana, Gina Elizabeth, Yarko Barros and Nen Bernal, performed traditional Peruvian Vals and other traditional Latin American songs. There were also several dance groups that performed traditional Bolivian dances for the crowd. These groups included Danzas Bolivianas Tynkus San Simon USA, and Grupo Alma Boliviana, all of whom are well known, not only in the DC area but, internationally.

In all the night was a huge success as many came out to support Casa Hispana de Virginia and it’s mission to assist the Hispanic family and community through education, health, cultural awareness, and career development programs.

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