Archive | March 2012

“¿Qué Pasa?” Festival to Spice Up Richmond’s Historic Canal Walk on Cinco de Mayo

(Richmond, Va.)  A new festival experience is coming to Virginia with “¿Qué Pasa?”, which will bring Latin culture and passion to the historic Canal Walk in downtown Richmond’s Shockoe Design District on Cinco de Mayo.

On Saturday, May 5th, Richmond’s Canal Walk will undergo a community-based transformation to resemble the famous Floating Gardens of Xochimilco for “¿Qué Pasa?,” beginning at 11:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. Richmond’s own Floating Garden boats will offer free boat rides throughout the festival. Bursts of live latin music and performances along the Canal Walk will energize the thousands expected to come to enjoy scrumptious Latin-flavored food, beverages and dazzling arts and crafts during the 150th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo celebrated in a “¿Qué Pasa?” style. The festival hopes to further economic and tourist development to Richmond’s riverfront by casting this one-of-a-kind aesthetic spotlight on the Canal Walk.

“¿Qué Pasa?”, organized by the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (VAHCC) –with the help of Venture Richmond and Mayor Dwight Jones— will highlight the state’s diversity on Cinco de Mayo. “Richmond and Virginia have increasing international influence and presence. The “¿Qué Pasa?” festival will showcase the vibrant Latin American aspect of this growth across the Commonwealth,” said Michel Zajur, Founder of the VAHCC.

Since the first “¿Qué Pasa?” festival ten years ago, Virginia’s Hispanic population has nearly doubled to 633,945, according to the 2010 US Census. “One of the goals of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is to build economic bridges between the Latino community and the community-at-large,” says Zajur. “‘¿Qué Pasa?’ allows everyone the chance to experience Latin American culture right here in Virginia.”

Schools across the state will get into the festive spirit with educational competitions encouraging students to expand their knowledge of international culture and show off their creativity.

For participation and sponsorship, visit or call the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at (804) 378-4099.


The March of Babies: an inspiring video from VAHCC Partner Farmers Insurance

Cambridge International Consulting brings Spanish language persuasion courses to Virginia

(Photo: Cambridge International Consulting course at Farmers Insurance Tysons Corner with the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce teaches negotiation skills through group exercises simulating oil trade between companies, as an exercise in negotiation, trust, and beneficial business relationships)

TYSONS CORNER – Cambridge International Consulting, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based consulting firm specializing in Spanish-language persuasion and negotiation courses for professionals, has partnered with the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to bring their expertise to professionals working in the Commonwealth.

Acclaimed for their courses offered in partnership with Harvard University, courses are modeled to address challenges in the work place and the business environment, to “optimize the capacity to successfully influence others, and generate value” (translated from their Spanish-language site,

Courses offered this March have focused on persuasion and negotiation skills, two of the pillars of Cambridge International Consulting’s organizational emphasis. Visit for future courses at the organization’s various bases around the world, including Washington DC, Boston, and Miami in the United States.

Coming up: Mariachis & Margaritas on April 5th

Coming up: Mariachis & Margaritas on April 5th! A new, fun VAHCC mixer in Glen Allen sponsored by Mass Mutual & Capital Financial Partners, with the mouth-watering margaritas & melodic mariachis of Mariachi’s Restaurante!

RSVP before space runs out!

Virginia Named Top State in Which to Make a Living in 2012

Commonwealth Rises from Fourth Place in 2011

Study cites Virginia’s “best-of-both-worlds scenario” with increased average incomes, decreased unemployment and decreased cost of living

RICHMOND – has ranked Virginia the “Best State to Make a Living” in its annual study. Virginia jumped up from fourth place in 2011 to take the top spot in 2012 based on measurements in the four categories considered by Average Income, which has increased over the past year; Cost of Living based on ACCRA Cost of Living Index, which slightly decreased; Unemployment Rate, which has decreased in Virginia; and State Income Tax, which has not increased under the McDonnell administration.

Speaking about the ranking, Governor McDonnell remarked, “Our administration is focused on getting Virginians back to work and our economy back on track. Over the past two years, we have put in place numerous policies to help spur private-sector job creation. We have traveled the nation and the world to tell the Virginia story and bring new job-creators to the Commonwealth, and to introduce the Commonwealth’s products to new markets overseas. We have been joined in this effort by lawmakers from both parties as the work to get Virginians back to work is a bipartisan endeavor. That work is getting results. Virginia has been named by CNBC and Pollina as the best state in America for business. Agricultural exports hit a record high in 2011. Corporate expansions are up. Most importantly, our unemployment rate has fallen to a three-year low at 5.8 percent. Since we took office in 2010, 154,000 more Virginians have the good-paying jobs they need to support their families. This is good news. Virginia is on the right track. Now, we must redouble our efforts to continue making Virginia a job-magnet and an economic leader in the years ahead.”

From the report:

1. Virginia (Adjusted average income: $43,677)


In jumping from fourth to first, Virginia improved its adjusted average income figure by $2,557. This year, Virginia enjoyed a best-of-both-worlds scenario in which its average income rose while its cost of living fell slightly. The state also saw its unemployment rate drop to 6.2* percent, which is well below the national average.

*While the report is impressed by Virginia’s previous drop to 6.2 percent unemployment, the new seasonally adjusted unemployment figures for January released just last week show an even greater drop in the state to 5.8 percent, a three-year low.

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Author: Jeff.Caldwell@Governor.Virginia.Gov

DuPont employees give scientific demonstration for Hispanic students at VAHCC Passport to Education event in Science Museum of VA

DuPont employees from Colombia give a scientific demonstration at the VAHCC Passport to Education event

Pictured: DuPont employees showcase some of the incredible innovations from DuPont products (view more at DuPont’s site), as part of the Passport to Education event in March 2012 for Hispanic students and families, held at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, VA.

Cambridge International Consulting in Richmond for Spanish-language negotiation & conflict resolution workshop

Cambridge International Consulting came to Richmond last week to conduct a Spanish-language workshop on negotiation & conflict resolution skills. Find out more about CIC in DC by calling the VAHCC in NOVA at 703-790-0303.