The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs and the Iowa Department of Human Rights Announces 2018 Iowa Latino Hall of Fame Honorees

Salvador Lopez a WWII Veteran at the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC in 2016. Photo by Tar Macias / Hola America

Five remarkable Iowans, including a Latino youth and a Latino Ambassador, will be inducted into the Second Iowa Latino Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. at the Iowa State Historical Building, 600 East Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa.

The Iowa Latino Hall of Fame is held around National Latino & Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, which celebrates and honors the contributions made by Latinos in the United States.

The honorees are:


Iowa Latino Hall of Fame Awards

  • Ernest Rodriguez, Bettendorf, IA A founding father of what is now the Iowa Commission & Office of Latino Affairs and long time activist.
Ernest Rodriguez, Bettendorf, IA


  • Salvador (Chavo) Lopez, Davenport, IA Champion of social and economic justice for all races, but especially those of Hispanic heritage.


  • Warren Marrow (posthumous), Des Moines, IA Honored by the Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival, he was an activist, visionary and game changer in the state.

Latinx Youth Leadership Award

  • Vanessa Espinoza, Iowa City, IA A young activist, educator and co-founder of  Latinos for Washington, Inc.

Iowa Latino Ambassador Award for Equity and Justice

  • Governor Robert D. Ray (posthumous), Des Moines, IA | Governor, humanitarian and civil rights activist. Served as the 38th governor of Iowa for 14 years, signed into law the Spanish-Speaking People’s Commission which is now known as the Office of Latino Affairs, and charged it with coordinating services for the states expanding Latinx population..

To celebrate the honorees, their families and friends, the Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs will host a reception immediately following the ceremony in the atrium of the Iowa State Historical Building. The reception is free and open to the public and sponsored by Community 1st Credit Union. Attendees do not need to register.

The Iowa Latino Hall of Fame was established by the Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs. Awards will be presented to the recipients by Lorena Gingerich, chair of the 2018 Iowa Latino Hall of Fame selection committee; Nick Salazar, community member and member of the selection committee; and members of the Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs.



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