Sybille Damas | email:


PHILADELPHIA – A dramatic volcano erupting roses welcomed guests to Congreso de Latinos Unidos’ Gala Latina: Quito. The black tie event was held Saturday, March 11.

The 11th annual gala, at the Bellevue Philadelphia, kicked off Congreso’s 40th year. Congreso’s largest fundraiser was also the first under the leadership team of new President and CEO Carolina DiGiorgio and recently appointed Board Chair Esperanza Neu. DiGiorgio remarked, “Congreso is proud to host Gala Latina to raise critical funds and showcase the diverse, rich culture of cities like Quito; cities with a proud heritage and exciting stories to tell. We are grateful to our many sponsors and guests for supporting our efforts to strengthen Latino communities.” PECO was, once again, the Platinum Sponsor for the evening and is one of Congreso’s Corporate Advisory Council members partnering together throughout the year.

The elegant evening captured the essence of Ecuador’s breathtaking capital city in the Andes, known for its sophisticated cuisine. Guests enjoyed hornado and short rib with cobia encocado while seated in a ballroom before a sweeping Cathedral replica onstage. Table centerpieces featured ecclesiastical candelabra with roses.

The Ayazamana Ecuadorian Cultural Center opened the short program with a folkloric performance, and the award-winning Artistas y Músicos Latino Americanos (AMLA) orchestra took the stage at 10pm to play salsa, merengue, and cumbia music. DJ Jholi also spun an hora loca in her rotation.

David Cohen, Comcast’s Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, and his wife Rhonda Resnick Cohen, Philanthropist and Retired Partner at Ballard Spahr, co-chaired the event. Cohen discussed Congreso’s focus on fostering hope by creating sustainable change and shared how Comcast was thrilled to be a part of Gala Latina and continue its year round collaboration with the Congreso.
About Congreso: Founded in 1977, Congreso’s mission is to strengthen Latino communities through social, economic, education and health services; leadership development and advocacy. Congreso served 17,064 individuals in FY16 through its education, employment, health and social services. For more information visit or call 215-763-8870.