This week, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort set the stage for the 83rd Annual League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Convention. More than 20,000 attendees are coming together with top leaders from government and the business community to celebrate their culture and address issues that affect Latino communities.

The importance of the local community is top of mind with convention organizers. “We chose Orlando for this year’s convention because Central Florida is now home to more than half a million Latinos,” said LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes.

Festivities kicked off on Wednesday July 27th with a citizenship naturalization ceremony that swore in 35 people as America’s newest citizens.

Thus far, Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden and US Attorney General Eric Holder have spoken to the gathering about topics ranging from immigration reform to healthcare to civil rights. US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is scheduled to speak during a luncheon on Friday.

An Expo at the event is helping thousands of Central Floridians connect with job and educational opportunities, as well as free health screenings.

The convention also features seminars and workshops with a focus on community service, leadership and professional development and advocacy training.