In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, AARP Florida is highlighting just some of the many volunteers who honor their culture and make their communities vibrant and inclusive places for all. Today, we are thrilled to introduce Samuel and Alicia Ramirez, lead volunteers at AARP Orlando.
Samuel and Alicia are forces in the Orlando community, advocating not only for the rights of older Americans, but also to include minority voices on every voting table. After spending 43 years in Florida – Alicia working in the Orlando mayor’s office and Samuel for a local newspaper agency – both gained awareness of the needs of the Hispanic community and have made it their mission in life to help.
But where does this passion stem from? Family, particularly Samuel’s father who passed away in 2013.
“One of the last things he told me was that family comes first, but community comes second. Always be involved and help in any way you can,” Samuel explained.
And so, he did. Once retired, both Samuel and Alicia became AARP volunteers and use their networking connections within the local government to create positive change. Whether it be visiting the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, educating others on voter outreach, or developing events with AARP staff to engage members of the Latin population in Orlando, the two have a passion to leave this city a more lively, colorful place for its residents.
“We’ve come a long way in advocating for Hispanic rights since Samuel and I moved to Florida in 1982,” Alicia said. “But it has taken education, political support, and many other initiatives to make our community a positive place. Hopefully, as we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, more and more will understand that we are not different – we are all human beings celebrating our identities.”
Samuel and Alicia are getting ready to celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary, and also continue to pass their cultural traditions onto their children.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is an educational opportunity for not only the Latino community to share our culture with others, but also for others to learn exactly who we are. We all have our differences, but those make us unique and unite us. Ours just may be a little louder!”
To learn more about becoming an AARPFL volunteer, visit our Volunteerism page. Thank you, Samuel and Alicia, for making The City Beautiful into a vibrant place to live and learn.
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