Alma Latina Online Magazine turns 3 today! How time flies when you’re having fun! This effort has been a labour of love from day one, born out of a desire to inform and serve the two communities that we are so intrinsically connected to: the Hispanic community, our wonderfully rich and diverse culture we were so blessed to be born into and so fiercely proud to be a member of, and the Canadian community, the country that welcomed us, embraced us and encouraged us to be who we are— such an open and warm community that instead of forcing us to deny and renounce our roots and identity is forever urging us to maintain our uniqueness while at the same time forging a sense of belonging into this society.

Both cultures are so intertwined in our everyday existence that Alma Latina continues to be, in essence (as was our original intention and in fact, our mandate, from the minute we became a presence as a virtual bilingual medium in Canada) a bridge through which we attempt to bring together Hispanic Canadians who live in Durham Region and the GTA and non-Spanish speaking readers who love everything about Hispanic culture and express an eagerness and a desire to learn more about it. As we said in our first anniversary, Alma Latina or “Latin Soul”, its literal translation, has sought to be more than an advertising vehicle in the vast landscape that is the Canadian media: instead we constantly strive to be a place where both Hispanics and non-Hispanics can find high quality, well-researched, informative and timely content in both English and Spanish.

Over these past three years (and based on our own personal experience) we have tried to highlight Durham Region and each of its municipalities as a destination to live, work, learn and play. Having observed firsthand the growth and progress of the Hispanic community (newcomers and long-time immigrants alike) we plan to do more in the future to pinpoint all the great areas of attraction, places of interest, restaurants, people, events and more that the area east of the city has to offer. But we also want to highlight what Hispanic culture has to offer, not just in Durham Region’s individual municipalities, but all over Toronto, the GTA and beyond, so that other Canadians learn to love and appreciate the abundance of our cultural legacy.

We spoke in our 2nd Anniversary about all the great contributions of our Hispanic community members to Canadian culture over the last few decades. Having been a freelance journalist for almost two decades now, witnessing firsthand the growth of our people and the immense pool of talent we’re so lucky and blessed to have amongst us– most especially the flair, brilliance, artistry and the fearless push towards improvement of our younger generation– I can tell you we have great expectations about what the future will bring, and we eagerly anticipate the great accomplishments the future generations are going to attain in the years to come.

As an online bilingual presence in Canada it is our hope to continue to showcase all these great contributions not just to teach other cultures about our journey into becoming a truly indelible and enduring piece of the Canadian tapestry, but we also want to showcase what other cultures have done and contributed, and we hope to learn from their lessons, struggles and challenges, so we can combine and share all of our experiences and make it one, a truly Canadian experience— always proud of the individual paths we’ve travelled without having to forget for one instant who we are and where we came from, on our way to building our new life in this great nation that is Canada.

We are looking forward to continuing to be a strong voice for the Hispanic community in shaping and guiding its future. We welcome the challenges and opportunities that come as we plough through the setbacks, difficulties and obstacles we encounter in order to continue with the task we embarked upon three years ago. We are so grateful for the continued support of people, artists and institutions such as Amanda Martinez, Alex Cuba, Lula Lounge, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Koerner Hall, Flato Markham Theatre, the Panasonic Theatre and many others that have contributed in making Alma Latina Online Magazine a strong presence in the Canadian media. And most of all we are so grateful to our readers for their constant feedback, comments and words of encouragement and especially for their continued support as we reach this our third year. We have a lot to look forward to as we grow and continue on our way to becoming a widely known and relevant online medium and as a small business, becoming more solidified, with a better vision of what we want to accomplish and how we will go about doing this, and always striving to offer excellent and informative content to all our readers. Happy 3rd Birthday, Alma Latina!

Some 2014/2015 Contest Winners:

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