October 24, 2003

Va Por México: Héroes Auténticos Awards Luncheon

By Raymond R. Beltrán

Last Friday, October 17, Tecate, La Prensa San Diego, and The Old Town Mexican Café hosted a luncheon in honor of the three women who earned the Va Por México: Héroes Auténticos awards due to their community involvement. Beatrice Estrada, Ofelia Escobedo, and Liliana Aguilar were accompanied by their family and friends, along with some community officials, to receive their awards and to be recognized for their achievements in underprivileged areas throughout San Diego.

Beatrice Estrada was recognized for her work in fundraising to feed struggling families as well as to provide students of all ages with scholarships. Ofelia Escobedo was awarded as a hero for her efforts to stop the gentrification of Barrio Carlsbad since the mid-1980s. Liliana Aguilar was recognized for her counseling work with at-risk teenagers trying to succeed in high school.

The awardees and presenters: (left to right) Enrique Monores, Liliana Aguilar, Bea Estrada, Ofie Escobedo, Mary Salas, and Al Alvarado

Over plates filled with carne asada, pollo, frijoles and rice, the three awardees, although very humble, made speeches of gratitude to those that organized the free function.

“I’m just a good friend [to the students],” said Liliana Aguilar about her community involvement.“I’ve learned more from them than what they’ve learned from me.”

Aside from being the first San Diego residents to be recognized in this new award program, Congressman Bob Filner sent one of his representatives to present the three women with a certificate of recognition.

Opening remarks were made by KURS-AM’s Enrique Morones who highlighted the importance of recognizing Latina women in our communities as heroes.

“It’s a joy to be here with these people that give back to the community, and do it so quietly,” said Chula Vista Councilwoman Mary Salas.“Activists lead people to know they deserve to live in a clean environment, and they keep our communities safe and sound.”

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