Latincouver was officially founded in 2009. Please read on to learn about the events that have led us to what Latincouver is today.
In 2008 Paola Murillo and a group of friends felt there was a need for Latinos to feel more welcome in Vancouver A Latin plaza was in the works and the name “Latincouver” had the perfect ring to evoke the mix between Latinos and Vancouver.
By 2009 Paola and her team were welcomed into the Latin American communities with a huge launch party. Latincouver ”The Virtual Plaza in B.C.” was officially born. We presented our first Carnaval del Sol at the Hellenic Community of Vancouver.
Our first Carnaval del Sol was such a success that we hosted a second one in 2010- this time at Strathcona Park. Over the course of the year, Latincouver celebrated several events including a Halloween party. During that same year we launched our website to get the word out to more people in the community of what we do and how they can get involved.
The strong support from Latin American Consulates and the B.C. Government helped us to growing tremendously. The Colombian Consulate recognized our efforts. At our third annual Carnaval del Sol held at Granville Street, David Suzuki was our main speaker. That same year, our Director, Paola Murillo, received an award as one of the 10 most influential Latin people in Canada.
In 2012, Latincouver launched two new events. The first new event was the Expoplaza which is an event created for the expansion of liaisons between Latin American and Canadian business. The second event is the Inspirational Latin Awards which recognizes the outstanding Latin people achieving success in British Columbia. Carnaval del Sol expanded to a two-day event as Latincouver gained traction and support from the community.
In 2013, Latincouver caught the eye of the city of Vancouver and received official recognition for its first Latin American Week during the fifth annual Carnaval del Sol. The website underwent further development and Expoplaza expanded its presence in the Vancouver business network.
Latincouver had the honour of hosting and presenting the ceremony for the 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians for the first time in Vancouver. During 2014, our work had been noticed by higher levels of government permitting us to receive recognition with the proclamation of “Latin American Week” by the B.C. government
In pursuit of a better knowledge of a Latin American & Canadian Businesses culture in Vancouver, we developed “Expoplaza Latina – Seminar Series” throughout 2015 with the strong support of the Latin American Consulates. It became clear that a larger venue was needed to host Carnaval del Sol as the awareness of the festival had spread across Metro Vancouver, and the event is now being hosted at the Concord Pacific Place.
In Latin America, the ‘plaza’ in each town is a physical space where people gather to talk about everything, from personal lives to cultural events and business developments. Becoming this ‘plaza’ has always been the goal of Latincouver. After much door-knocking, in 2016 we are finally seeing the reality of our physical plaza, a place which we call The Latin Innovation Hub. It was the Iranian community, another woman entrepreneur and her family owned commercial real estate company Palagon who gave us a hand to make our dream come true, in a physical space for Latinos and Latin enthusiasts to have a common business and cultural space to build their own dreams and realize their goals in B.C.
We were able to hire permanent positions, in orden to improve our organization and serve better the Latin American community in BC. This step is just the beginning of a new path thet we are envisioning for Latincouver. First time in Latincouver´s history where we received more funding from many different levels of Governments.
Latincouver and Carnaval del Sol celebrated 10 years of leading programs and hosting events, supporting our vibrant and diverse Latin community in Vancouver. It was time for immense pride as the Latin American community is continuously making significant and positive social and economic contributions to Vancouver. Ten years of bringing our culture full of colours and flavours to this beautiful city. Ten amazing years of bringing people together, promoting culture, supporting communities, empowering people, connecting businesses, and giving happiness to a country that has received us with open arms. Ten years of teaching the power of Latinos around the world and of dreaming of having a physical space to connect the Latin American community in Vancouver. Today, we call this dream Latin Plaza Hub. In 2018, we launched the first co-working space connecting Canada and Latin America, where we offer a fun and vibrant space for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Latincouver and Carnaval del Sol celebrated 10 years of leading programs and hosting events, in support of our vibrant and diverse Latin community in Vancouver. It was time for immense pride as the Latin American Community is continuously making significant positive social and economic contributions to Vancouver. Ten years of bringing our culture, full of colours, and flavours to this beautiful city.
Our continued effort to raise awareness of our roots and origin is extremely important to all of us, the Latino residents in B.C. It is our job to highlight the best of Latin America. Ten amazing years of bringing people together, promoting culture, supporting communities, empowering people, and connecting businesses, all of which has brought even more happiness to a country that has received us with open arms. Ten years of showing the power of Latinos around the world, and dreaming of having a physical space to join up the Latin American community in Vancouver. Today, we call this dream The Latin Plaza Hub. In 2018, we launched the first coworking space connecting Canada and Latin America, where we offer a fun and vibrant space for entrepreneurs and freelancers to work.
Latincouver believes that equal opportunities for individuals to develop to their full potential make our society thrive. In 2020, we created a space to shed light on the contributions of passionate, hard-working women who make our societies a better place to live. In this way, we were able to connect, exchange views, and show our appreciation to all women who have been working with our organization for the past 12 years, and to the female community members who have built our culture and heritage.
We co-created the SheLatina project with a group of amazing women, with whom we designed events and activities to contribute to female empowerment in Canada and Latin America. During Carnaval del Sol we gave priority to acts that had female members, and most of our team was composed of women.
Latincouver was declared a finalist in the 2021 Charity Village Awards, November 2021 – Paola Murillo, Latincouver Founder, was awarded as one of the 2021 Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award Winners presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine.