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MANA de Imperial Valley Announces 2023 Las Primeras Honorees


This week, MANA de Imperial Valley unveiled the recipients of the 2023 Las Primeras awards. The MANA Board of Directors has chosen Dr. Guillermina “Gina” Nuñez-Mchiri, Diahna Garcia-Ruiz, and Hortencia Armendariz for their exceptional advocacy work, trailblazing efforts, and community service.

These honorees will be celebrated at MANA’s Annual Las Primeras Awards & Scholarship Fundraiser: Latina Women in HERstory. This year’s theme shines a spotlight on the numerous influential Latina women who have paved the way, used their voices to address civil rights issues and political injustices, and shattered barriers. The event is scheduled for Friday, October 13, 2023, at the Old Eucalyptus Schoolhouse in El Centro.

“We are thrilled to honor three remarkable community leaders and acknowledge their outstanding achievements. This year’s honorees are shining examples and a true source of inspiration for our community, women, and youth,” said Ida Obeso-Martinez, President of MANA de Imperial Valley. “MANA eagerly anticipates celebrating exceptional women at our annual Gala while raising funds for a noble cause – local academic scholarships. We extend our gratitude to all individuals who submitted nominations for this year’s Las Primeras.”

Dr. Guillermina “Gina” Nuñez-Mchiri, Dean at San Diego State University – Imperial Valley, holds the distinction of being the first Latina to serve in this role in the college’s history. Diahna Garcia-Ruiz is the Founder of Proyecto Heber, a highly successful community-focused local non-profit, and serves as a Trustee for the Central Union High School District. Hortencia Armendariz, a Trustee at Imperial Valley College, brings over thirty years of professional experience in education to her role.

The Annual Las Primeras Gala & Scholarship Fundraiser is the primary fundraising event for MANA de Imperial Valley’s scholarship program. Since 2007, the local MANA Chapter has awarded over $230,000 in scholarships to local high school and community college students.

Tickets for this year’s Gala are available through the organization’s official website at www.ivmana.org. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For further information, please contact the Gala Coordinators Jennifer Rodriguez and Sher Cowie at manalasprimeras@gmail.com.

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