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Angel Saltos interview, 2020-12-05

Identifier: dcpl_dcohc027_01.wav

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

D.C. Oral History Collaborative (DCOHC) is a citywide initiative to train community members in oral history skills, fund new and ongoing oral history projects, connect volunteers with oral history projects, and publicize existing oral history collections. DCOHC is a project of DC Public Library, HumanitiesDC, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. This collection contains oral history interviews, transcripts, and indexes produced by DCOHC grantees.


  • Creation: 2020-12-05


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

Born in Quito, Ecuador, Angel Saltos moved to Washington D.C. in 1980. He enrolled in American University where he obtained a BA in marketing and MBA in Business Administration. He began to study the state of Hispanic marketing in the United States. Saltos met Hortensia “Tensia” Alvirez who owned a Latino PR marketing firm. They clicked, and Saltos got hired to work on several of ABL Associates projects. He first got involved with D.C. Latino Festivals by organizing a raffle for the 1988 Festival. Then, when the Festival Committee decided to take the Festival to the Mall in 1989, Saltos describes how Tensia Alvirez met with Secretary Manuel Lujan to get his support for moving the Festival to the Mall. Saltos describes how he lured Willie Colon into being the main musical group performing at both the Festival Gala Dance and at the Sylvan Theater. Saltos talks about why the Festival wanted three stages on the Mall where 14 musical groups performed during the 1989 Festival. Saltos describes how the great diversity in Washington D.C. of the many Latin American and Caribbean populations made the Festival unique. Saltos talks about his passion for Latin music, and his professional success representing Latino groups. In 2003 he accepted a job as President of the Ricky Martin Foundation.


From the Collection: 1.13 Terabytes


Angel Saltos tells the story of how, as a recent young student immigrant from Ecuador, he landed his first professional job with ABL Associates, a D.C. public relations marketing firm. Saltos who studied public relations and marketing at American University was interested in the Hispanic Marketing arena. In the late 1980’s Hispanic marketing was a brand new field. Tensia Alvirez, President of ABL Associates, was known in the D.C. community for her public relations work with private and public entities. Saltos tells how he was successful in hiring Willie Colon to perform at the Gala dance and on stage at the first Latino Festival held on the National Mall. He talks about other Latino musical groups: Medardo y sus Players, Tito Puente, Shakira, Los Hermanos Flores. He was successful in bringing Rumba Tres from Spain to perform at the Festival Gala Dance in 1989. Saltos describes his relationship with the Festival committee leadership, his experiences hiring various musical groups, and the struggles to secure National Park Service permission to hold the Festival. He also talks about the struggles between D.C. city officials and the National Park Service staff as part of the process in 1989 to secure the Mall for the Latino Festival. Saltos talks about Washington’s large cultural diversity and stresses that this feature makes Washington D.C. unique. This diversity is reflected in the large group of different Latin American countries that are represented in its Festival. Saltos reflects on his professional career after the 1989 Festival. Saltos has continued to work in Hispanic public relations, and in 2003 he was hired to be President of the Ricky Martin Foundation where he travelled the world with Ricky Martin and met many of the international Latino musical artists.

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

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