Edilma is from Panama and has resided in the U.S. for many years. She came to Orlando in 1957, when Orlando was a large town. Her husband was an aircraft commander at McCoy Air Force Base. When she came to Orlando, approximately 75% of the area was orange groves. Conway Road and Curry Ford Road were full of orange groves. In the evenings, you could smell the wonderful scent of orange blossoms in the air. Her most vivid memory is of downtown Orlando. There were no tall buildings and on just about every street there was a church. Her husband’s class was the last class to graduate from the wooden Catholic Church. Now Orlando has a beautiful cathedral. Edilma remembers Lake Eola before there was a fountain. She remembers taking the children to see the fountain and feed the ducks.
Edilma has seen unbelievable growth in Orlando. It was once a big town but now it’s a big city. There are many more employers. Many people from various places settled in Orlando. It’s still a wonderful place that’s why she still lives here.
Edilma is a member of the Panamanian Association in Orlando. Ponce De Leon settled Florida so we have things related to the Spanish language. Edilma gives back to the community by teaching Spanish to English speakers at the Southeast Branch, Orange County Library.