Olga Garcia led the creation of the Museo de las Americas — one of 11 U.S. museums dedicated fully to Latino arts and culture and the only one in the Denver region — more than 26 years ago.
Antonio Mercado is an accomplished actor and drama teacher who in 2004 directed North High School students for the only high school performance at the Buell Theater with a sellout performance of “Zoot Suit,” the first Chicano play on Broadway. He’s also a recipient of former President Barack Obama’s National Endowment for the Humanities Award.
Jenny Santos has been working on activist causes since she was a child. Her resume now includes at least 10 organizations, including Servicios de La Raza where she co-founded La Raza Youth Leadership Program.
Manuel Ramos was a lawyer who fought for United Farm Workers and represented people who refused to cooperate with a federal grand jury investigating the controversial deaths of Los Seis de Boulder. In the 1980s, he began writing crime fiction that celebrates Latino culture.
All four have their own unique stories. But on Saturday, which was Mexican Independence Day, the four stories converged as each was honored at the Denver Public Library’s 15th annual awards ceremony recognizing Latino leaders in Colorado.
“It’s not just about you,” said Carlos Martinez, vice president of the Library Commission. “It’s about the community. As a community, for us, it’s the ability to recognize and honor people who have paved the road for us to walk on.”
The awards started as the library saw a need to recognize the Latino community, explained Eric Duran, a former member of the library commission whose name is given to the…
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