The effort and professional achievements of Hispanics are on display in a photographic exhibit entitled "100 Latinos Miami," which is open to the public in one of the busiest terminals in this city's international airport.

As the name suggests, the exhibit features 100 present-day Latino singers, musicians, painters, athletes, doctors, academics, journalists, designers, businessmen, bankers and more - all of them living in Miami and with a common element: their willingness to use their talents to contribute to the city's progress.

The "emblematic" figure of 100 is a nice round number, but it could be multiplied by 1,000 to include many other "stories of tenacity, self-improvement and success" among Latinos in Miami, according to what Colombian Veronica Duran Castello, the director of the exposition, told Efe.

The exhibit shows the faces of people who have enjoyed professional success by working hard, often out of the public eye, and who have never been handed anything by anyone along the way.

Without a doubt, Duran's situation as an immigrant influenced her in conceiving the original idea in Madrid, where the Colombian journalist lived for several years and had to work at all sorts of tasks just to get by.

"I arrived in Spain seeking a new city and a new life and I even had to work selling ties," she said, adding that she often went to Buen Retiro Park to be alone and "cry sitting on a bench" and feel sorry for herself.

It was in Madrid where she began to become interested in the stories of immigrants who came to Spain in waves during those years of economic bonanza and she began to develop the idea of incorporating into a magazine for Latin Americans a section entitled "Talento latino" (Latino talent) that would publicize the "talented people there were" among the immigrants, she said.

From that initial idea sprang the concept of "100 Latinos," an initiative that has been very well-received in Madrid is in its third edition there.

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