2018 Latino Spirit Awards (CA Senate Democrats)

May 07, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Latino Legislative Caucus recognized Latino trailblazers at its 17th Annual Latino Spirit Awards during an Assembly floor ceremony at the State Capitol in Sacramento, CA. Political cartoonist and producer Lalo Alcaraz delivered keynote remarks.

“For 17 years now, the Latino Caucus has been proud to honor role models in the community with the Latino Caucus Latino Spirit Awards,” said Caucus Chairman, Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego).  “We’ve identified people who are committed to their communities, have excelled in their respective fields, and brought joy and honor to Caliifornia. They are the essence of the Latino Spirit.” 

Every year, the Latino Caucus honors Latinos/as in a variety of categories that range from business and entertainment, to public service and human rights.  Many of the honorees are pioneers in their respective fields and have overcome tremendous obstacles, rising to become role models and community leaders. They serve as a reminder of the talent we have within our diverse Latino community and are a source of inspiration to all Californians. Established in 2002, The Latino Spirit Awards take place each year at the State Capitol in Sacramento to coincide with the state’s celebration of Cinco de Mayo and to recognize inspirational figures in the Latino community. This year’s honorees included:

  • HECTOR BARAJAS-VARELA, (U.S. Army veteran) Achievement in Military Service & Advocacy
  • MELINDA M. CUELLAR, (Domestic violence advocate) Achievement in Community Empowerment
  • FAITH ESTELLA FLOREZ, (Founder, Latina Legacy Foundation) 2018 Dynamic Youth Award
  • F. GAVIÑA & SONS, INC., (Gourmet coffee producers) Achievement in Business & Philanthropy
  • LIZ HERNANDEZ, (Journalist, TV personality) Achievement in Media & Entertainment
  • LUPITA LOMELI, (Host, Arriba Valle Central) Achievement in Journalism & Media
  • CHEECH MARIN, (Actor, director, writer, musician, art collector) Achievement in Arts & Entertainment
  • CHAUNCEY VEATCH, (Army veteran, school teacher) Friend of the Latino Community
  • KAT VON D, (Tattoo artist, author, TV personality, musician, designer) Achievement in Business & Entertainment

“All of these honorees, every single one, brings something to the table that represents what it is to be Californian,” said Lalo Alcaraz, himself a Latino Spirit Award honoree (2004). “Through their work, creativity, ingenuity, or service, they make California stronger and more bountiful. They inspire us to grow, to live, to understand and respect one another. And to work even harder. And to be DREAMERs. And to be builders - of bridges, not walls.”

For more information and complete biographies of this year’s honorees, please click here . For Photos of the 2018 Latino Spirit Awards, please click here.