About Us

HoLa Hora Latina started in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1992 and is the oldest grassroots Latino non-profit organization in East Tennessee. Chartered in 2003, it is now a 501(c)(3) charity. The mission of HoLa Hora Latina is to promote unity in the community by creating art, cultural and communication bridges between Latinos and the larger community, and by encouraging education, participation and leadership.

HoLa Hora Latina has contributed to the cultural life in the Knoxville area through its various cultural and educational programs. We are mainly known for the annual Hispanic Heritage Month which is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 and for the annual HoLa Festival. The last one being the most celebrated among the many celebrations during this month. The HoLa Festival is known to be attended by more than 25,000 festival goers kicking off with a Saturday night Salsa Fiesta and leading to a Sunday filled with food, music, dance, cultural events, a Parade of Nations and endless activities promoting the culture of all Hispanic countries and their influences in the United States.

HoLa Hora Latina has its home at Casa HoLa which is located in the 100 block of S. Gay Street at the Historical Emporium Building in the heart of Knoxville’s Art District. This is the home for most of our cultural and educational programs which are offered throughout the year. Casa HoLa has become a center where Latin art, photography, paintings, ceramic arts and popular art have coexisted within the Hispanic and the Community at large. Monthly movies and discussions promote a cultural interexchange which is not only fun but stimulating.

HoLa Hora Latina is composed of paid intern students and many volunteers who are dedicated devote their knowledge of art and culture towards excellence in the organization. In 2002, HoLa Hora Latina was an important aspect for the inauguration of the Civil War Trail Marker which marks the birthplace of Admiral Farragut in Knox County in honor of his Hispanic heritage.

HoLa se inició en Knoxville, TN en 1992 y es una organización Latina sin fines de lucro y la más antigua en el este de Tennessee. Constituida en 2003, es ahora una (c) (3) caridad 501. Su misión es promover la unidad en la comunidad mediante la creación de puentes de arte, cultura y la comunicación entre los latinos y la comunidad en general, y mediante el fomento de la educación, la participación y el liderazgo.

HoLa ha contribuido a la vida cultural de la zona de Knoxville a través de sus programas educativos y culturales variados. Somos posiblemente más conocidos por la celebración anual del Mes de la Herencia Hispana, que se celebra del 15 de septiembre hasta el 15 de octubre y por el Festival HoLa, el más destacado este mes con largas celebraciones.

Desde 2010, con la apertura de Casa HoLa en el edificio Emporium, en el corazón del distrito de arte de Knoxville, hemos ofrecido programas culturales y educativos durante todo el año. Casa HoLa se ha convertido en un centro de arte latino, donde las fotografías, pinturas, cerámica y arte popular han coexistido para el disfrute de los hispanos y no hispanos por igual. Películas mensuales, y las discusiones que siguen proveen un intercambio cultural divertido y estimulante.

Actualmente contamos con un miembro del personal asalariado, y muchos voluntarios dedicados. En 2012 HoLa fue fundamental para la inauguración de Civil War Trail Marker donde marca el nacimiento del Almirante Farragut en el condado de Knox, en honor a su herencia hispana.

Hola Hora Latina Board of Directors 2017

Pedro Tomás - President

Cuban born and educated in New York, is a Professor of Spanish at the University of Tennessee and at Maryville College. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in both disciplines of Spanish Literature and Theatre and a Master’s Degree in Hispanic-American Literature. He is currently representative on the UT Faculty Senate. Pedro came from a theatrical background and his experiences include performances at Opryland USA, the Clarence Brown Theatre and many years as Dance Partner-Director and Choreographer for the Louise Mandrell Show. Pedro takes pride in being chief organizer for HoLa Festival 2016 and upcoming 2017.

Roger Roark - Treasurer

Tennessee born Roger Roark is a current Senior Manager for WonderWorks, a major entertainment attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN. He has worked for this company for 10 years and was previously the Dinner Theatre Manager for WonderWorks’ Hoot N’ Holler Dinner Show in charge of all servers and food and beverage. He worked for the Louise Mandrell show for 13 years as the Costume Supervisor and used this same title at Opryland USA Music Theme Park for 14 years. Roger served as the Soft Beverage and Beverage Tickets Chair for the HoLa Festival 2015 and will return as Chair of all Beverage and Tickets for the HoLa Festival 2016.

Terra Clotfelter Gómez - Secretary

a native of East Texas and long-time resident of East Tennessee, has been an HoLa board member since 2014. She received her B. A. in Hispanic Studies and Portuguese from The University of Tennessee and later graduated from Lincoln Memorial University’s M. B. A. program. She recently left her full-time career in international business in the manufacturing industry to devote more time to her family and to take on a part-time role in her family’s small business. She currently serves on the boards of the Latino Alumni Council and the Young Alumni Council at The University of Tennessee and is also a volunteer with Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee. She lives in Blount County with her husband, daughter and three dogs.

Irene Hernández

Irene Hernandez was born in the United States from Puerto Rican (father) and Dominican (mother) parents. She spent a good part of her childhood in Bayamón, Puerto Rico but before the the age of 10, she returned to the United States and enlisted in the Armed Forces. Throughout 27 years in her military service, she traveled to many countries and participated in missions like Operations Just Cause, Desert Storm and Restore Hope. In the last years of her military career, she served in the Tennessee National Guard as a military instructor until 2012. Today, she still works for the government as a Federal Investigator for the Department of Labor and helping employees receive fair pay for their hours of work. However, many know her for her work as the HoLa Festival Coordinator as a member of the Nuevos Comienzos de la Iglesia Parkwest. she is blessed with a fabulous daughter, Margarita Loran and her almost one-year-old granddaughter, Cristina Bouchard. She is happy to have the opportunities that she has to serve God and the Knoxville Latin Community.

Maria Clark PhD

Associate Professor of Spanish at Carson-Newman University teaching language, culture and literature courses. Her research specialization is Latin American film. She has served on the HoLa Board of Directors for several years and was active as organizer and presenter of the Cine HoLa series. She currently chairs the HoLa Scholarship committee. Dr. Clark hails from Germany and has lived in Knoxville, TN since 1976.

Rose Mar

A transplant to Knoxville from Northern California. She grew up in Healdsburg, California the eldest of four children of immigrant Mexican parents. Rosa retired in 2012 after a 27-year career with Levi Strauss & Co where she held various executive management positons the last being the Global Sourcing Manager. She was transferred from San Francisco to Knoxville with Levi in 1996 and was transferred back to San Francisco in 2001. Along with serving on the Urban League board for which she is the treasurer, also serves on the Facilitation Committee for Leadership Knoxville, she serves on the board of WDVX a non-profit radio station, is on the board for HoLa Hora Latina Cultural Organization, and on the board of Knox Heritage. In 2014 came out of retirement for a short period serving as the CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee which she held through January, 2016. She is a 1994 graduate of Leadership San Francisco, 2001 graduate of Leadership Knoxville, a 2001 winner of the Levi Mentor Award, a 2013 YWCA Tribute to Women Finalist, and a graduate of the East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association Class of 2014. The role she cherishes most is that of mother and she is proudest of her attorney daughter Marisa who resides in San Francisco.

Melanie Reid

A Professor at Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law in Knoxville, Tennessee. She teaches and writes in the area of criminal law and procedure, comparative law, federal criminal law, and national security. Professor Reid holds a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame and a M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College. Professor Reid has been an HoLa board member since 2012 and is currently a docent at the Knoxville Museum of Art, conducting tours in both Spanish and English.

Meredith Moussa

A Maryville College and University of Tennessee graduate, she is a certified ESL and Spanish teacher, and I currently teach Spanish at Lenoir City High School. She is a huge Tennessee football fan and enjoys cheering on the Vols with her husband and two children.

Nathalie Hristov

Associate Professor and Music Librarian at the University of Tennessee. She is also a cellist and enjoys traveling to destinations with great art, music, food, and drink.

Jackie Daugherty

Jackie Daugherty is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and teaches Spanish at Central High School in Knoxville. She is also a Spanish Club sponsor for her school and a community volunteer.

Rebecca Gómez

A board member since 2014. She was born and raised in Tennessee, but her mother’s family traces its roots to Spain and Puerto Rico. Rebecca studied Spanish and Theatre at the University of Tennessee, during which time she spent summers abroad in Mexico and Brazil. She also holds a Masters in Spanish from Saint Louis University in Madrid. Rebecca currently guides Spanish, Humanities and Self-Expressions classes in the Adolescent Community at Nature’s Way Montessori School. She is also very active in the local theatre community. Rebecca serves on the Art Committee and ran the Baila con HoLa program, in addition to organizing the Heritage Tables at the 2016 HoLa Festival.

Victor Garza

Originally from the small border Mexican town of Cuidad Miguel Aleman in the state of Tamaulipas. With his parents he immigrated to the US at the young age of six. Comping from very humble beginnings as a Migrant Farm Work, Victor earned his BS from Panamerican University and later his MS from Southern Methodist University. He currently holds the position of Quality Manager at Keurig Green Mountain.

Angela Masini, Art Committee Chair

Casa HoLa Art Exhibits and First Friday Receptions

Loren E. Jones – Administrative Assistant

Loren Jones is a Junior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Modern Foreign Language and Literature with an emphasis in Hispanic Studies and International Business. Loren has been a part of HoLa Hora Latina since September of 2016 and she finds the work and people to be very enjoyable. Loren is also an active member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and holds office as the New Member Educator and Officer Council. Loren graduated from North Oldham High School in Goshen, Kentucky with valedictorian status

We want to pay special tribute to those who have served as President of HoLa Hora Latina.

Those dedicated individuals, who have contributed so much to the growth and development of HoLa Hora Latina include:


  • Angela Masini
  • Coral Getino
  • Carlos Bermúdez
  • Veronica Douglas
  • Lysette Avilés
  • Loida Velázquez
  • Silvia Calzadilla
  • Elena McKinney