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Finalists For The 25th Don Quijote Awards Announced



ORLANDO, FL — Excitement builds for the 25th Annual Don Quijote Awards as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) and Prospera revealed the finalists of the four categories, along with this year’s Lifetime Achievement and Hispanic Community Champion award recipients, during a press conference that was held at the Orlando Museum of Art. The press conference was sponsored by Walt Disney World Resort and Wells Fargo.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando Announces 25th Don Quijote Awards Finalists
Photos by Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News

The Don Quijote Awards recognize businesses and individuals committed to excellence and the development of Central Florida’s Hispanic community. The winner of each category will be announced at the 25th Don Quijote Awards Celebration on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at Epcot’s World Showplace Pavilion from 6:00 pm to midnight.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando Announces 25th Don Quijote Awards Finalists
Photos by Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News

The 2022 Don Quijote Awards finalists are:

Hispanic Business of the Year, Five Years or Less:

  • Guacamole Mexican Grill, Inc, represented by owners Diego Rojas and Gustavo Aristizabal
  • Samantha’s Walls, LLC, represented by owner Samantha Senf
  • Unik Title, LCC, represented by owner Lynette Quinones

Hispanic Business of the Year, More than Five Years:

  • Competitive Edge Partners & Consulting, represented by owner Debbie Rodriguez
  • Lim Law, PA, represented by owner Henry Lim
  • SkyBuilders USA, represented by company owners Marcela Restrepo and Juan Velez

Professional of the Year:

  • Dr. Adriana Cadilla, Infectious Disease Physician at Nemours Children’s Hospital
  • Migdalia Figueroa, President and General Manager for Telemundo Orlando at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises
  • Luis Nieves-Ruiz, Director of Economic Development at East Central Florida Regional Planning Council

Excellence Award:

  • Josephine Balzac Arroyo, Esq., Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Rollins College
  • Former State Representative Bob Cortes, Senior Administrator for Government Affairs for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
  • Major Carlos Torres, Uniform Patrol Division at Orange County Sheriff’s Office

The Hispanic Community Champion and Lifetime Achievement awards recipients are uniquely chosen by the Don Quijote Awards Selection Committee.

Hispanic Community Champion Award

This award is given to a non-Hispanic individual who has led by example in supporting the progress of the Hispanic community in Central Florida. The recipient of this award is chosen by the Don Quijote Awards Selection Committee, focusing on contributions to the Hispanic community; evidence of promoting Hispanic professionals, executives, and board members within the nominee’s respective organization and in the general community; demonstrated leadership or community involvement to benefit the Hispanic community; and honors or awards.

The winner of the 2022 Don Quijote Hispanic Community Champion Award is Dr. Michael Burkett, President at Florida Technical College (FTC) – one of Florida’s largest trade schools with seven campuses across the state and its sister school Dave School, ranked as one of the top schools in the state for animation, visual effects, and game design. FTC is a Hispanic-owned institution that offers diplomas, associate and bachelor’s programs designed to assist the adult learner.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This award recognizes an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to the development and empowerment of the Hispanic community in Central Florida. The Lifetime Achievement this year goes to Modesto Alcala, Senior Vice President of Global Restaurant Development and Placemaking for Universal Creative at Universal Orlando Resort.

For more than three decades, Modesto has been a catalyst in the global hospitality and restaurant industry. His national impact began when he was part of the ideation and development of Barnes & Noble’s 600-unit café business, including an early partnership with Starbucks. In 2012, he joined Universal Parks and Resorts. As a senior executive at Universal, Modesto leads the efforts to establish new supplier diversity programs to help diverse-owned businesses gain more access to contracts.

The Don Quijote Awards are made possible thanks to the support of Walt Disney World Resort, Wells Fargo, AdventHealth, Bank of America, Universal Orlando Resort, PNC, 1st SOS Staffing, Florida Blue, Orlando Health, OUC- The Reliable One, Travel & Leisure, Cypress Bank and Trust, Orlando Magic, JPMorgan Chase, 26Health, University of Central Florida, iHeart Media, Telemundo 31, Florida National News, La Prensa Newspaper, El Osceola Star, Univision Orlando and El Nuevo Zol 95.3 FM, among many more. For more information on the Don Quijote Awards, please visit

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Spring Break 2023 Traffic To Jump By Nearly A Million Passengers At Orlando International Airport



ORLANDO, FL.- The busiest travel time of the entire year is now at Orlando International Airport (MCO), Spring Break 2023. Starting tomorrow, March 4th MCO is expecting approximately 7.3 million passengers during the 46-day travel period that runs until April 18th. This represents an anticipated 13 percent increase over last year or nearly 1 million more travelers.

Based on pre-spring break traffic numbers, MCO is prepared at any point during this window to set an all-time daily record for the number of passengers at Orlando International during a 24-hour period.

The current daily travel record at MCO is 90,804 departures set in March 2019, just prior to the start of the pandemic. However, recently records have been falling and four of the top ten busiest days in airport history were set in February of this year. The second busiest day ever at MCO was set last weekend with 89,863 departures.

Adding to the increase in traffic is the addition of service from Lynx, Breeze, Avelo, Southwest and Spirit Airlines at MCO.

Predicted Top Ten Busiest Spring Break Travel Days 2023*
1.Saturday, March 25172,929
2.Saturday, March 18172,833
3.Saturday, April 1172,449
4.Saturday, March 11171,959
5.Saturday, April 8169,398
6.Sunday, April 2165,683
7.Sunday, March 19165,654
8Sunday, March 26165,049
9.Sunday, March 12164,953
10.Easter Sunday, April 9163,289

Top 5 Spring Break Travel Tips:
1. Travelers should allow plenty of time to park, check baggage and go through security processing.
2. Pack as lightly as possible.
3. Do NOT pack firearms or weapons in your carry-on luggage.
4. Print or download your boarding pass prior to arriving at the airport.
5. Pack your patience.

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Dezerland Action Park Orlando to host FAMILYFEST THIS WEEKEND



ORLANDO, Fla. – Looking for an action-packed weekend? Check out FAMILYFEST which, comes to Dezerland Action Park Orlando this weekend! Did we mention it’s FREE?


Jan. 28th. from 12 to 6 p.m., guests can enjoy a wide variety of vendors and attractions including Dezerland’s glow-in-the-dark mini golf, go-karts, and trampoline park.
Plus, if visitors get their FamilyFest passport fully stamped by each vendor, they can redeem the passport for up to $80 in BOGOS that can be used at some of Dezerland’s attractions.
This is an event you won’t want to miss. Attached is the press release with further information. We’d love to be included in any things to do roundups or event coverage. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

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Orlando International Airport Pushing 50 Million Passenger Mark, Again



ORLANDO, FL. – With a strong start to the holiday travel season in November, Orlando International Airport (MCO) came dramatically close to breaking the 50 million passenger barrier, again. Previously, MCO shattered the mark before the pandemic and it was not predicted to fully rebound again until at least 2025.

“We have far exceeded anyone’s expectations for traffic growth at Orlando International Airport,” says Kevin Thibault, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “On a rolling 12-month basis, MCO welcomed 49.7 million passengers as of November. If you break that down even further, it is about two days-worth of traffic shy of 50 million.”

For the month of November, MCO was bolstered once again by robust international traffic, which climbed over 85 percent. Those numbers were also affected by the resumption of service by Sunwing to Toronto. Another key factor, MCO recorded the third-lowest domestic air fares in the country from July through September for the top 50 U.S. airports.

Rolling 12-month Traffic Statistics:

  • International traffic is up by triple digits with a 225 percent increase over the same 12-month period in 2021 with 5,352,825 total international passengers.
  • Domestic traffic climbed 21.04 percent year-over-year to 44,350,955 passengers at MCO.
  • Combined, overall traffic at MCO for the 12-month rolling total was up 29.82 percent to 49,703,780 passengers.

November 2022 Traffic Statistics:

  • International traffic climbed 85.35 percent with a total of 466,169 international arrivals and departures.
  • Domestic passenger traffic was up 3.83 percent on 3,772,635 total travelers for the month.
  • Combined, traffic was up 9.11 percent with a grand total of 4,238,804 arrivals and departures at MCO.

Traffic Summary Report

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