The hilly terrain of Clermont’s Waterfront Park was host to this year’s Tour Latino 2018, a cycling event that benefits the Latino community of Central Florida.
Held on Sunday, Feb. 11, Tour Latino is a fundraising event where people can participate in one of several races across the park in Lake County. 550 people participated, all between the ages of 16 and 77 years old. The fundraiser benefits Prospera, an non-profit organization specialized in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to establish or expand their business.
“We provide them education, business tools, consulting, and we even have business brands to help them start their business the right way," said Gaby Ortigoni, Prospera's vice president of the Central Florida region. "Especially, we focus a lot on helping them not only with the language, because we have bilingual services but we also help them understand the culture of how to do business here in the United States. A lot of them have a lot of experience doing business in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, but when they come here, the culture of doing business is different, so that’s what our organization focuses on.” says Ortigoni.
This is the fifth year the event has taken place, and it keeps growing each year.
“We have been very lucky that this event keeps growing," Ortigoni said. "Of course we have great exhibitors. We have over 20 sponsors, thanks to them is why we’re able to do this event and more people keep joining this effort.”
UCF was one of the sponsors for the race.
Participants had various route options to choose from: the 100-mile, the 70-mile, the 50-mile, the 25-mile and the 10-mile routes. The park offered a unique challenge that other races in Central Florida do not have.
“We’ve done a couple other [races] around here... those are flat," said Rich Toro, a participant of the event. "These [have] a little bit more hills, so it’s a little bit tougher, but the scenery here is like 100 times better than any other ones that we’ve done.” says Rich Toro, a participant of the event.
Not only was the scenery rewarding, but the weather as well.
“This morning was a little chilly, but not as much as previous years, so right now the weather is perfect, so we’re enjoying it,” Ortigoni said.
However, the most rewarding part of the race for some was the sponsored lunch at the end of the races,
“We’re looking forward to Zaza’s honestly, that was a big factor for me,” said race participant Joan Toro.
Mr. Toro added, “That’s why we did it, for the Cuban food afterwards.”