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Our mission

To enable a space to empower our communities.
To connect the Hispano-Latino residents with each other and with the extended community.
To embrace and celebrate our cultural diversity.


The Waikato Hispano Latino Cultural Charitable Trust (WHLCT) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to uniting individuals of Hispanic and Latin-American heritage, along with those interested in our rich culture. Composed of dedicated volunteers, we actively advocate for and preserve our language and cultural traditions.

We host various events and initiatives aimed at celebrating the Spanish language and Latin and Hispanic culture. Our members are encouraged to join in, and collectively, we engage with neighbouring communities in the Waikato area. Through our classes and public events, we provide the broader community with a glimpse into Hispanic Latino culture and avenues for participation. Our goal is to foster stronger social bonds within the local Spanish-speaking community and support their integration into the wider society.

We aim to enhance the well-being of our expanding community by organising activities that enable members and their children to engage in language practice, uphold cultural traditions, and forge connections with fellow members. A key priority is preserving the Spanish language within the younger generation of our community while also sharing our vibrant culture and customs with the broader Kirikiriroa community.
Our public gatherings serve as a motive for building social bonds and nurturing enduring friendships. Through our diverse range of activities, we cultivate a sense of belonging within the Kirikiriroa community, connecting members who share similar migrant experiences in Aotearoa. We firmly believe that by sharing our language and showcasing our art and festivities, we contribute to fostering greater tolerance and understanding among the diverse tapestry of our city's multicultural makeup.

At the heart of our culture lies the tradition of sharing music and food, which are prominently showcased during our events. With dishes and performances representing the 21 countries of our community mosaic, we take great pleasure in sharing our traditional customs with the wider Kirikiriroa community.

From 1979 till today 

The journey of Waikato Hispano Latino Cultural Trust began in 2015 when it transitioned from its previous structure as an Incorporated Society into the current Charitable Trust. However, the roots of our organisation stretch back much further, nurtured by the compassionate efforts of individuals in Hamilton dedicated to supporting migrants from Spanish-speaking countries and facilitating their integration.


In 1979, the Spanish Society was established, embracing Hamiltonians from diverse backgrounds as members. Under the leadership of Simón Acarapi, the Spanish Society achieved a significant milestone in 1990 by gifting the Jardín Hispánico-Meadows of the Enchanted Spring ("Prados de la Primavera Encantada") to the city of Hamilton. This enchanting garden, nestled within the Hamilton Gardens, consists of three distinct areas:

El Desembarcadero de los Embajadores (The Landing of the Ambassadors) where migrants are welcomed as ambassadors from their country of origin.


El Patio de las Naciones (The Patio of Nations), representing all Spanish-speaking countries. Some Spanish-speaking embassies sponsored a tile for their country.

Rincón del Poeta (Poet's Corner) is a typical scene from the Romantic era, a place full of memories for people of Spanish descent.

During this period, Josefina Grey and Allan McDonald chaired the group, with Allan and his wife Barbara engaging in Spanish lessons at the Waikato Technical Institute. Under Allan's leadership, the Jardín Hispánico underwent expansion with the addition of a contemporary sculpture, drawing visitors from afar.

In May 2005, the group underwent a name change to Waikato Hispano Latino Cultural Group Inc., also known as Grupo Hispano Latino. Throughout these years, the community group has facilitated connections, forged friendships, and fostered mutual understanding within the New Zealand context. Through nurturing our culture, we have evolved into a community of international repute among the diverse ethnic groups residing in the Waikato region. Noteworthy achievements during this time include the establishment of sports teams, which served to attract a younger generation to interact with the established older ones.

In 2010, fresh faces joined the Committee, and under the guidance of Patricia Novoa, the Trust saw new leadership. Alongside these additions, the Manitas Spanish Playgroup emerged, led by a group of mothers eager to impart their language and culture to their children. This initiative provided a welcoming space for families to get together, fostering connections and creating lasting friendships.


© 2024 Waikato Hispano Latino Cultural Trust.  Designed by Daniela Catucci

Kirikiriroa Hamilton

Aotearoa New Zealand

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