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Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012

Mexican Consulate honors 22 "remarkable" Mexican-Americans who have made a difference in San Diego

The Mexican Consulate in San Diego on Monday honored 22 Mexican-Americans who have made a big difference in the region.

The event was held in teh San Diego Museum of Art as part of the 202nd anniversary of the cry for Mexican independence and the 133rd anniversary of the consulate.

Those honored as "remarkable" Mexican-Americans were:

Ricardo Griswold del Castillo, a San Diego State University historian and Chicano studies scholar
oscar romo at tijuana river estuary Óscar Romo, environmentalist and lecturer in UC San Diego urban studies program (pictured at right).
Graciela Molina, an educator who has promoted civil rights for Mexican-Americans
Esmeralda Reyes Aguilar, poet
Rafael Rubio, cofounder of Rubio's fish tacos
Dr. Jose Honold, neonatal physician, president, founder of International Children’s Cancer Foundation.
Dr. Horacio Jinich: Gastroenterologist taught at UC San Diego
Dr. Andres Smith: Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center physician who has led efforts for improved cross-border emergency health services
Ivonne Esperanza Campos, a Superior Court judge since 2003
Arturo M. Castro, an architect whose projects include the new library and the expansion of the convention center
Sam Durán, founding CEO of Urban Corps of San Diego County
Mateo Camarillo, for his community work that led to better working conditions and pay for Mexican-Americans
Enrique Morones, pro-migrant and human rights activist; leads Border Angels group
Beatriz Villarreal, Founded Mano a Mano Foundation
William Alejandro Virchis, a director for Teatro Máscara Mágica who worked with Southwestern College theater department and Sweetwater school district
Martha E. Sánchez,  who 45 years ago began the Ballet Xóchitl Cultural del Centro Cultural de los Niños
Humberto Gurmilán Juvera, a man who became paralyzed at age 15 who now works with Access to Independence, which helps people who have suffered paralyzing accidents. Author of "Desde mi silla."
Angel Lopez, director of tennis at the San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club. Angel LopezHe has taught there since 1979 and in 2011 became the first Mexican-American to be inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame. He was United States Professional Tennis Association Master Professional of the Year in 1995 and was won numerous other honors and awards. He is a former coach of Zina Garrison and Alexandra Stevenson, among many, many others. He has played and coached all over the world. He played tennis at Montgomery High School, San Diego City College and the University of Arizona. He sponsors tennis programs at Calexico High School and 11 San Diego schools and also sponsors an after-school program for underprivileged children. He also awards the Angel Lopez Scholarship.


Four were recognized posthumously:
Herminia Acosta EnriqueHerminia Acosta Enrique (1919-2009), co-founder of Centro Cultural de la Raza and founder of Ballet Folklorico en Aztlan in 1967. Her photo, at left, courtesy of her family
José Guadalupe Estudillo, trustee for San Diego in Jose Guadalupe Estudillo1868 who voted to set aside the land that became Balboa Park. He was an honored guest for the Panama-California Exposition on May 26, 1915. He also was state treasurer from 1875-1880. He married Adelaide Mulholland of Los Angeles, who died in 1890. He was the son of José Antonio Estudillo (1805-1952), a Californio who was one of early San Diego's most prominent figures
Juan de Dios González, helped lead legal fight to desegregate Lemon Grove schools in the 1930s
Isabel Schon, (1940-2011) bilingual literacy and multicultural education expert who founded the Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents at Cal State San Marcos in 1989

The 22 were honored by Consul Remedios Gómez Arnau, in the presence of Congressman Bob Filner and state Assemblyman Ben Hueso. The selection committee included Monica Kiy, Roberto Cornejo and Daniel Pozos.

List, U-T San Diego. Second part of list, U-T San Diego.
Story, Frontera (PDF) (It was only able to get 15 of the 22 names in the paper, leaving out Morones and six others, but did note in a separate box that the paper was recognized for helping the consulate gather nominations).