What makes East Orange County, 32825 special? Commissioner Mayra Uribe says it has roots

Everyone is welcome,’ Uribe says

EAST ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – While many parts of Central Florida are transforming right before our eyes, one thing that makes 32825 unique is its rich history and neighborhood roots.

Many people who live in the 32825 ZIP code grew up there, including the area’s county commissioner, Mayra Uribe. News 6 Anchor Lisa Bell recently sat down with Commissioner Uribe at Don Julio’s Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar to learn more about 32825.

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Lisa Bell: For people who have not visited this area, what is it like?

Mayra Uribe: This area is beautiful. I say District Three is the heart of Orange County. It’s kind of where everything was built first and then everything moved out. You’ve got the phenomenal Rio Pinar, you’ve got Don Julios, you’ve got all these neighborhoods: Peppertree, Azalea Park in this area, which really attribute also to the older schools like Colonial High School, and what they call Roberto Clemente that used to be Stonewall, when you talk to folks they went to Colonial 40, 50, 60 years ago. So it’s a community with lots of character and lots of love and a lot of dedication.

Orange County commissioner explains how ZIP code 32825 has evolved


Mayra Uribe: Unfortunately, during difficult times like when COVID hit, we also started seeing this area very vulnerable because of the multi-generational families living together and being so close. So, it’s a beautiful community. I’m blessed to represent it. I grew up in this area, I know all about this area and we played Colonial when I went to Oak Ridge School, so there’s a lot of history that goes with this.

Uribe says the communities are so tight-knit, neighbors voluntarily join HOAs to build relationships and make their community stronger.


Voluntary HOAs separate 32825 from other areas in Orange County


Lisa Bell: Subdivisions here in 32825 have been here for decades and they are pretty tight-knit. There’s a lot of pride, even the HOAs are voluntary. Who does that? Who volunteers to join an HOA, right?

Mayra Uribe: I love that because you’ve got Peppertree across the street, you’ve got Rio Pinar, they meet once a year, they’re all excited. Sometimes they’re revved up about issues and we do have issues, we can’t ignore that that, you know, growth and development does come with a cost, but what’s true is that commitment to each other, neighbor to neighbor, how they came together during difficult times, during COVID, during the hurricanes, they were there for each other and they support each other and they really try to be in a consensus. When you say ‘voluntarily’ they donate to this pool (of money) and they have trunk-or-treats and Easter get-togethers and things like that and that says a lot because that means they care about where they live. I mean, nowadays unfortunately, when a development goes up, it automatically has an HOA because there’s all these risks and liabilities and all that, but when you see voluntary, that means somebody cares, and even right behind us Rio Pinar Woods, voluntary, they have one of the best National Night Outs.

Uribe says those neighborhoods are also great partners with law enforcement because neighbors know their neighbors. She says many subdivisions have group chats, alerting each other about suspicious activity, sharing doorbell videos and keeping an eye out for one another.

Uribe says the population in 32825 has evolved over the decades, but the strong sense of community continues.

What lies ahead in 32771?


Mayra Uribe: We look different than we did 50 years ago, but we’re embracing everyone and everyone is welcome.

Lisa Bell: This area does seem like people who live and work in this area have a lot of commonalities. I mean, you say, ‘we look different than we did 50 years ago,’ but you grew up here. Your dad worked for Martin Marietta, which Lockheed Martin has a big presence in this area. So how has it evolved over the decades?

Mayra Uribe: Well, I think we’ve become more diverse. Definitely. People are moving here. My parents came to this country in 1972. They came to Orlando. My dad is Colombian, my mom’s from Argentina. They were both professionals who came to work for Martin Marietta, bought their house here in Central Florida. I grew up here. I didn’t leave home till I got married. It was crazy. I was a good Catholic girl and then I’ve only moved once and that’s when my husband and I bought our home. So, you don’t hear that story much. But I do hear stories that ‘we moved here from Mexico, we moved here from Utah, we’ve moved here from Colorado.’ Over the weekend, I met a woman who said ‘I’ve moved here from San Francisco to raise my children in a much more inclusive and adaptable community.’ That says a lot because people are looking at us and appreciate the rich culture we have.

Lisa Bell: So many people are moving to Orange County every single day and a lot of people don’t know about this hidden gem.

Mayra Uribe: I always find it funny when we talk about the Rio Pinar golf community. If they’ve been here a long time, they’re like ‘oh, that’s where the PGA started, right? Oh, and Arnold Palmer like way, way, way before my time.’ Then you’ve noticed a revitalization of this area. You’ve noticed businesses and people want to come and prosper here. And I love what’s been done at Rio Pinar and the commitment to increase that community. I love places like this, like Don Julio’s, where you’ve got the owner, who’s invested in this community. He started small, he expanded and expanded and now his main offices are right here. And you know what that provides? It provides an economy boost, it provides jobs, it provides opportunity, and we live in this community now where people tend to live in their bubble, as it’s said, we eat, go to school, we go to church, you know, it’s like, if we go five miles it’s like, ‘oh, no, we’ve got to get the juice boxes, we’re going on a road trip.’ And that’s what’s great, because food deserts are becoming a big problem in our community…. you know, markets are pulling out. But to know that you’ve got a thriving center like this with your workout, your grocery store, your banks, restaurants. This says a lot of how this community is committed to protect and still flourish.

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