Lehigh Valley

Pennsylvania Latino Convention to be held at Historic Hotel Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Leaders of the Pennsylvania Latino Convention were in Bethlehem Monday to make an announcement about this year's event.

The convention is the most comprehensive statewide event covering all aspects of Latino life in the state.

A press conference was held at Historic Hotel Bethlehem to announce the hotel would be hosting the 2019 Pennsylvania Latino Convention.

Organizers say it makes sense to hold it there considering the rapidly growing Latino population in the Lehigh Valley. 

The Pennsylvania Latino Convention was created to bring the state's leaders together on a yearly basis to tackle issues affecting the fastest growing segment of the population.

"It is a convention that is all about working together to make sure that we draft an inclusive, progressive Latino agenda for the almost one million Latinos in the commonwealth," said Founder and Chairman Normal Bristol.

Bristol has done the research and says the Latino community is at a crossroads.

"In order for us to address any of the social issues impacting the Latino community, we have to go to the root of the problem," Bristol said.

He said the root of the problem is poverty, along with a lack of focus on education and economic development.

"We are not moving as fast as we should but there is definitely some progress that we must celebrate in the Latino community of Pennsylvania," Bristol said.

Bristol brought the first convention to Lancaster last year.

And with two of the state's most populated Latino cities being Allentown and Bethlehem, he says the Lehigh Valley is the perfect example of what other areas can become.

"The Lehigh Valley consistently for the past 30 years has seen a growth in Latino population (and) has seen a growth in Latino businesses opening and I think this is the prime locaiton to do anything that has to do with the Latino community of Pennsylvania," Bristol said.


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