OSCEOLA COUNTY, FL - Any direction you turn in Osceola County, you see businesses owned by and targeting Hispanics. The county's large Hispanic community is booming, doubling in the last 20 years to 55.3 percent of the population, according to a new PEW Research Center report.
“Since Osceola County has had a large Hispanic population for many years, a strong base of Hispanic population and that would make sense that our community will attract other cultures, as the same as we have here in Osceola County,” said Monica Chavero, Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Business Council Chair.
One reason: current residents are encouraging relatives to relocate here.
“Most people that are coming to the area, are coming because they’ve either been recommended the area or they know some family that live here,” said Ryan Rivas, Central Florida resident. “We have a lot of new family moving here and joining us."
The main reason: the opportunity.
“We should be prepared for this trend, it’s not going to stop, this is a land of opportunities and that’s what people are looking for,” said Chavero.
The owner of “El Cilantrillo,” a Puerto Rican restaurant within the county, is one of the Hispanics experiencing much success. The restaurant is thriving and expanding to a second location, thanks partly to support from the growing Hispanic community.
The Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce (FOX 35 Orlando)
“They crave for their native food, especially during the holidays,” said Hiram J. Turull, Owner, El Cilantrillo.
Osceola County is not surprised by the new numbers. The County’s Board of County Commissioners Chairwoman Viviana Janer said that “Osceola County’s Hispanic population continues to grow – as do numerous Hispanic contributions to our community. Our diverse population is symbolic of an enriched American experience. Hispanic cultural influences – hard work, love of country and a deep commitment to faith and family – are cornerstones of why America is a place of freedom and opportunity.”
“This is the heart you know, I can say that Kissimmee is an extension of Puerto Rico,” said Turull.