Marines join Hispanics' leap to the future
| | September 23, 2002
GURABO, Puerto Rico --
With the growing influence of the Hispanics' economic force, organizations of various proportions are dipping into the Hispanic market in a rather accelerated pace.
Recently, during the 16th Edition Reception for the Hispanic Yearbook held at Casa Rectoria inside Universidad Del Turabo in Gurabo, Puerto Rico a significant number of Latin American and European influencers gathered to discuss the important role of Hispanics in the global world.
The Marine Corps is one of the many government agencies that have been well represented in the Hispanic community for many years.
With the nation's more than 35 million Hispanics, about 21,000 are serving in the Marine Corps, with a large percentage coming from South Florida and Puerto Rico. Consider the long heritage of Hispanic Marines, from LtGen. Pedro Del Valle, the first Hispanic general who commanded the 1st Marine Division in Okinawa during World War II, to the 13 Hispanic Marines who have received the Medal of Honor.
According to Angela E. Zavala, the Hispanic Yearbook publisher, and president and Chief Executive Officer of TIYM Publishing Co., Inc., the yearbook was developed to help minority businesses grow. It was first introduced in Spain, gradually expanded throughout Latin America, and eventually to the United States.
Like the Casa Rectoria, a sugar plantation home built in 1920's, and now a functioning historic house in the middle of one of the largest learning depots in Puerto Rico, the yearbook has evolved into an important tool for Hispanics to search for a prosperous future.
The Marines' presence at the reception entails its desire and commitment in developing a lasting relationship with the biggest minority group in the U.S. thereby becoming a preferable choice for young Hispanics in their quest for a good future.
Major Daniel Q. Greenwood, the commanding officer of Recruiting Station Fort Lauderdale, considers these types of events as monumental in establishing a supportive network and will in turn aid the Marine Corps' recruiting effort.
"The Marine Corps derives a large part of its strength and success from the diverse talents, interests and backgrounds or our Marines. The Marine Corps and Recruiting Station Fort Lauderdale's support of the Hispanic Yearbook and such events is representative of the importance of this effort," Greenwood said.
Following official oratories from the guest speaker and event sponsors, Greenwood and GySgt. Gary Santiago, Noncommissioned Officer for Recruiting Substation San Juan, Puerto Rico discussed partnership opportunities with some of the civilian sector representatives. Among those were Zavala and Dennis Alicea Rodriguez, Chancellor of Universidad Del Turabo.
"The interaction with the university chancellor will have immediate and long-term benefits for Marine Corps recruiting in the island (Puerto Rico). The introduction to school leadership was positive and allowed us to highlight Marine Corps opportunities and benefits," Greenwood said.
Beside the Hispanic Yearbook reception, the Marine Corps and RS Fort Lauderdale has been actively participating in several Hispanic events. During the 15th Annual Conference of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in October last year, now retired LtCol. Raymond Griggs gave a presentation on opportunities in the Marine Corps. Several students from around the United States and Puerto Rico attended the workshop and visited the Marine Corps information booth at the HACU exhibit.
At the National Council of La Raza's 24th Annual Conference held in Miami, last July, Marines from the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, Quantico, Va. and RS Fort Lauderdale were involved in a robust recruiting and marketing effort. The Marines exhibit included an Event Marketing Vehicle, Chin-up Challenge, inflatable drill instructor, inflatable obstacle course, and an information booth.
While La Raza and HACU involved direct marketing tools, the Hispanic Yearbook reception mainly focused on discussing issues that would help the Hispanic community leap to the future.
"This event provided a forum where representatives were able to learn many mutually supportive goals and begin establishing methods to harness the advantages of the relationship. Our continued integration and involvement with the Hispanic community through events like this is vital to recognize the U.S. Hispanic support and patriotism. This is a win-win situation that we hope to repeat over and over throughout South Florida and Puerto Rico," Greenwood explained.