For the first time in my life I made it to New York City, I got to stay at the Waldorf Astoria and got to Play Tennis at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. I ate at the first ever Pizzeria in America (Lambardi’s) and got to experience my first Festival (San Gennaro) in Little Italy. It was also my very first time on the Subway.
Although #Latism has had their Conference in NYC in the past, this year was the year of the Firsts for the Conference as well. The Family Atmosphere, the Incredibly talented Speakers and Panelists discussing the most interesting and relevant topics and the Great Entertainment that you’d come to expect was Amazingly Present as Always! What pushed this edition of the Annual Conference over the Top were the Firsts!
The addition of a Tennis Tournament was the first ever Sporting Event for the Conference. It was a huge success & not only because my Partner Juan Carlos Grajeda (@Grajedajc) and I won it! It was very well organized by Larry Pedroza (@MiamiLawrence) and Sponsored by SOWEB (www.sowebinc.com) and the USTA. The event took Place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the venue that just weeks earlier crowned Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams as the winners of the US OPEN. It was definitely an unforgettable experience.
One of my personal Favorites was the addition of the first ever Hackathon, organized by Oscar G. Torres (@Oscargt). I didn’t know what to expect because I didn’t know what a Hackathon was. By the end of the conference I was in awe of what the young talents were able to come up with. Legitimo was the overall Winner followed by MailTuCan and Student Dream. I’m now a Hackaton Fan!
Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (Latism) is a Non Partisan, Non Profit Organization. It is definitely a Family that includes and embraces everyone. The Organization is a melting pot of all types of races, ethnicity’s and cultures. This year #Latism13 had it’s first LGBTQ Panel, that had powerful stories and shared information regarding how Technology is helping break down health, cultural and social barriers.
The most impactful addition to the Conference, for me, was the March for Immigration Reform (#all4immigration). I had never been a part of such a Powerful Event. Walking through the streets of NY with our Signs, singing our chants and listening to the comments as we walked, was amazing. When we made it to the Park near the UN, it was Great listening to the Motivational Speakers and seeing Elianne Ramos (@ergeekgoddess) bring out the Chancla. This is truly an experience that I will never forget.
Overall, the #Latism13 Conference was a Great Success! I can’t wait til Next Year!!!