domingo, 8 de noviembre de 2009


By Felipe Argote

When the first Spanish went to what is now Orlando is estimated that there where not less than 100,000 Indians distributed in essentially four tribes: the Timucuaheys, the Tacobagas, the Calusas, the Apalachees and other minor tribes. When the Spanish leave in 1763 from the Florida peninsula to Cuba after ceding the territory to England, they took with them the last Timucua as servants, emptied of its first settlers to Florida. Tired of searching for the fountain of youth, the Spanish groups initially led by Ponce de Leon, the Spanish obsessioned is said he was sure that the legendary source was in Florida but was killed by a poisoned arrow fired by a Calusa Indian The colonization of the peninsula and with it the destruction of its inhabitants rather than the weapons that killed not a few, primarily through the transmission of diseases unknown in the area and from which the indigenous population had no defenses.

The Orlando area was repopulated much later with indigenous groups Seminoles from Georgia who fled from U.S. troops now trying to get ancient territory and where cornered south to the swamps.
The territory was occupied by the military to build Fort Gadlin, to defend the new occupants of the lands of the sporadic incursions of the 5,000 surviving Seminoles led by their leader, known as King Philip and his son Coacoochee.

Orlando's name is believed owed to Orlando Reeves, one of the many soldiers who fell in the attacks to dislodge the Seminoles from their lands and whose tomb was found by the new settlers. They referred to the site as the tomb of Orlando Reeves, then synthesizes over time as the tomb of Orlando, to finally be known as Orlando. Of the Seminoles has been only the name of one of the counties, the Seminole County where the latest census of 2000 surviving 770 Seminoles out of a population of 3.668 of these Indians living all over Florida, which does not reach even 1% of the total population of the area known as Central Florida. Here 14% of the population is African American, 15% is Hispanic majority Puerto Rican, unlike the mostly Cuban southern state, 3% are Asian and the rest is Saxon or European descent and other groups.

Orlando is currently one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, basing its economy on tourism since it opened in 1971 Disney World, then was followed by Universal Studios and Sea World. This city welcomes 48 million visitors annually. This is Panama's population multiplied by 16. The number of visitors to Panama last year hit a record of 200,000 visitors. Although tourism is its biggest income obviously the city of Orlando is also home to such major industries as IBM, Marriott, Publix and Siemens Westinghouse.

The Seminoles after refusing to be forcibly relocated to Oklahoma in the nineteenth century, survived in the mangroves of Florida to finally settle in Hollywood, near Fort Lauderdale, north of Miami, after fight for years headed by his mythic leader Osceola, who is been said he beat four American generals before been arrested by lying him they wanted a meeting for peace. He was dead on 1863 in prison.

The Seminoles currently owns the Hard Rock International chain. After a very successfully exploit of two of its franchises in Orlando, they decided to take all business and did so through a smart financial transaction. The Seminoles operate through a tribal council of five members elected by vote.

On my last visit on business for work in the city of Orlando I saw it clean, spacious, green and opulent, with multiple sources and natural lakes. An environment that can be defined as Disneylandic, where it seems that everyone is extremely happy. But where I was staying at the city a former employee of the company Reynolds, Smith and Hills, specializing in transportation consulting, who was fired in 2007, who declared bankruptcy this year (in the United States a person can declare itself bankruptcy and stop payments on its debts) decided to return and avenge his bad luck shooting against his former colleagues. He killed several and wounded many more at a time when unemployment in the United States rises to the record figure of 10.5%. This does not look very good for tourism, but before the end of the persecution that resulted in his arrest a few hours later, the attractions were its normal rhythm.

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