Florida’s Historic Coast serves as the epicenter of Florida’s 500th anniversary celebrations in 2013; commemorating the year that a Spaniard traveling from Puerto Rico came to the shores of present day Florida declaring the land “La Florida” for the king and queen of Spain.

The story of the brave, adventurous spirit that brought Juan Ponce de Leon  to the Florida shore in 1513 will serve as the cornerstone of St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau‘s new Hispanic marketing campaign.

The new campaign, themed “Vuelve a Donde Nacio Nuestro Espiritu,” links the spirit that brought Ponce de Leon to La Florida 500 years ago with the spirit that is embodied in the unique personality traits of the U.S. Hispanic today.

“From the first-generation U.S. Hispanic who decided to make a better future in the United States to the third generation Hispanic who is here because of the enduring spirit of their parents or grandparents, the campaign recognizes that the spirit of the U.S. Hispanic began in historic St. Augustine,” said Richard Goldman, executive director at the Visitors & Convention Bureau. “St. Augustine is the oldest, continually occupied settlement in the United States, founded by another Spaniard, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, in 1565.  This campaign serves as an opportunity to acknowledge the impact Hispanics have made to our nation’s history, and to the history of St. Augustine, not only recently but for 500 years.”

The campaign, created by Bauzá & Associates, consists of culturally-relevant creative, public relations, social media, and other efforts throughout the region and key national locations.

“The story of the Hispanic influence in the United States since Ponce de Leon arrived 500 years ago is a story that Hispanics and non-Hispanics need to be aware of, because it is our story,” said Wilson Camelo, chief marketing officer for Bauza & Associates.  “That story began in Florida with Ponce de Leon’s discovery and in St. Augustine, with Pedro Menendez’s founding of the city. This makes Florida’s Historic Coast a ‘must visit’ location for Hispanic travelers to return to where this spirit was born.