Press release -

Local Author Touches Children in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Miami, FL (USA), March 29th, 2018 -- When speaking with Terry Padilla, author of "Latin American Foods," it is clear early on how very important family is in her life. Her two-year labor of love titled “Latin American Foods” is a children’s book that follows the journey of the Garcia family who were forced to leave their homeland of Puerto Rico due to devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The family relocates to Orlando and as they adjust to the many changes in their lives, the Garcia family embraces their native Latin culture.

“When faced with unexpected challenges ones first reaction is usually to hold onto what’s dear to them,” said Padilla. “I wanted to emphasize the closeness of family and how the Garcia’s took comfort in the culinary experiences of their native Latin culture as they embarked on their new life in America.”

Terry’s multi-cultural background and her experiences living in Central America inspired her to write “Latin American Foods.”

While growing up in Managua, she witnessed people without food, shelter and clothing. Those images are still fresh in her mind today and provided added inspiration for her book.

“Basic necessities such as water, food and shelter, should never be taken for granted,” said Padilla. “And Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey were a reminder to all of us of how important these basic necessities are to one’s survival.”

“Latin American Foods” was illustrated by Tony Mendoza, a Cuban-American artist who Terry had met a few years ago while attending the Coconut Grove Art Festival. She was so impressed by his work that she immediately asked him to illustrate her book with the hope that her words combined with his whimsical illustrations would offer youngsters easy to understand descriptions of some of the dishes that the two of them were all too familiar with as children.

As the book was nearing completion, life for many changed dramatically! Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Florida, the Caribbean and, tragically Puerto Rico. These hurricanes inspired Terry to rewrite the story and incorporate a fictional family, Jose and Maria Garcia and their son Carlos, who owned a bed and breakfast in Puerto Rico. Maria Garcia is originally from Cuba, and loved to cook traditional dishes.

Depicting old clothes hanging to dry in the background when referencing Ropa Vieja or including an iron on the Cuban sandwich illustration since it is traditionally pressed with a hot iron are just a few of the images that stimulate the readers’ imagination.

Terry remembers the time when she asked Tony to draw a beautiful, colorful rooster with wild feathers and have the rooster painting. While puzzled by the request Tony complied, creating Terry’s favorite illustration that represents a dish she remembers all too well as a child growing up in Nicaragua, Gallo Pinto (rice and beans). She wanted to depict the rooster painting because gallo means rooster and pinto is a spotted rooster.

Born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua, Terry moved to Miami as a teen and attended Coral Gables High School. She graduated from the University of Florida’s School of Journalism & Communications earning a bachelor’s degree in Advertising with a minor in Business Administration.

Her book, “Latin American Foods” is dedicated to her husband Ivan, a fantastic cook and her father, who was the Secretary of Agriculture in Nicaragua during the 1970s. Terry resides in Miami, Florida with her husband and two children. She previously served on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida for 10 years and currently volunteers her time and energy with the Day of Caring for Breast Cancer Awareness. Terry is a 12-year Breast Cancer survivor!

The book is available for $12.95 paperback and $7.99 Kindle on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Day of Caring for Breast Cancer Awareness. You can contact Terry Sendelmann-Padilla at 786-281-3737 or via e-mail at Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Press & Media Contact:
John Kiskinis
Kiskinis Communications, Inc.
13663 SW 102 Court,
Miami, FL 33176 - USA
+1 305-447-1224


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