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2019 Iowa Latino Hall of Fame Members



Carlos Portes (posthumous) – Marshalltown, IA (from Havana, Cuba)
Recipient of Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award for his contributions in this country; served as Special Ambassador for Latin American Affairs; numerous other achievements.


Hector Avalos, PhD – Ames, IA (from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico)
Founder and inaugural director of the first US Latino/a Studies program at Iowa State University; internationally recognized and respected scholar in the area of biblical studies.

lando avalos

Lando X. Valadez (posthumous) – Des Moines, IA (Mexican heritage)
Latino migrant worker who became a community leader, political activist, advocate for Latinos, court interpreter, historian, mentor; founder of a number of Latino and Hispanic based organizations; World War II hero; recipient of the Purple Heart and Silver Star Medal.


The Latinx Youth Leadership Award recipient: Lilián Sánchez – 

Des Moines, IA (from Mexico)

First generation college student; first Latina Vice President of the University of Iowa Student Government;

advocate of diversity issues; fellow at Amnesty International.

Jan Mitchel

The Robert D. Ray Award for Equity and Justice recipient: Jan Mitchell – Des Moines, IA

Teacher who paved a path for lifelong success in her students; founder of Al Exito, a program whose mission is empower Latinos for success through education, leadership, and community engagement.