The mission of HOLA is to educate, connect, and empower the Latino community in the River Region of Alabama.
HOLA envisions the River Region as a leader in fostering a culturally rich and diverse community where we connect to each other through relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.
We educate Latinos on skills and topics that will support them in strengthening their families, achieving their goals, and contributing to the community.
We also offer training and cultural conversations for service providers and community leaders to facilitate relationship building, foster cultural understanding, and support community outreach.
We connect the Latino population to community resources and the tools and knowledge needed to navigate Alabama culture and systems and participate fully in the civic, socioeconomic, and cultural life of the region.
We empower the Latino community to advocate for solutions to their needs and challenges, share their culture with the wider community, and develop relationships with local leaders.
HOLA Board President
Ms. Rhonda Thompson is the Director of the Nehemiah Center. The Nehemiah Center is a Christian Community Development Program of First Baptist Church Montgomery’s Community Ministries.
Ana Laura Raymundo
HOLA Board Vice President
Ana was born in Queretaro, Mexico, but was raised in Alabama since the age of four. At a young age, she became a Christian. She loves GOD, her family, friends, co-workers, church, people, and dogs. She is married and she has two young adult children and two fur babies. With her family, they are members at Vaughn Forest Church and have been with the Hispanic ministry there for over 10 years. They like to work together in various ministries that can teach others the love of GOD. Ana works at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions as a ministry assistant for disaster relief/chaplaincy and she loves her job.
HOLA Board Member
Manny is the Vice President of Community Initiatives and Soccer Development for the YMCA of Greater Montgomery. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex, Indoor Arena, and two Championship Stadiums. He also oversees the Associations Community initiatives in underserved areas. He is a graduate of Lee University in Cleveland, TN with a degree in Fitness/Wellness and minor in Religion. He also had a long professional soccer playing career.
Melissa Fridlin Murrell
Melissa Fridlin Murrell is a native of the Southeastern US and lives in Prattville, AL with her husband and four fur babies. She has a BA in Latin American Studies, has lived and worked in Mexico and Central America, and holds a Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting from Samford University in Birmingham, AL. Melissa works as a full-time freelance interpreter and translator and is the owner of Deep South Language Services.