MIAMI – Teresa “Terri” Callava, who was behind the world-famous Calle Ocho Music Festival and the Carnaval on the Mile in Coral Gables, died on Wednesday of cancer. She was 64.
Callava joined the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana more than three decades ago, and she served as the nonprofit organization’s longtime director of business development and marketing.
Callava’s family released a statement announcing their matriarch’s death. Relatives said her attitude towards life epitomized Celia Cruz’s hit song “La Vida es un Carnaval,” or “Life is a Carnival.”
“Terri had a zest for life that was contagious; her spirit infectious, and the love she shared with so many profound,” the statement said. “She fought a long, hard, and courageous battle against cancer with grace, determination, and a will like no other.”
Jorge Fernandez, the president of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, released a statement saying Callava’s legacy will always be honored.
“Teresa was the epitome of passion and lived her life every day that way,” Fernandez said.
Mayte Vizcaino, the nonprofit organization’s sponsor relations manager, said in a statement that countless children and teenagers in Miami received scholarships, attended summer camps, joined sports leagues, and more thanks to Callava.
“Through her tireless and passionate work over the years, she generated more than $70 million for hundreds of thousands of young people,” Vizcaino said.