Mariano Espinoza, Latino Community Specialist, is a 2015 recipient of the prestigious Ohtli Award from the Government of Mexico. Awarded annually, the Ohtli Award is the highest honor for a civilian living outside Mexico and acknowledges and celebrates the commitment, vision and impact of an individual on the Mexican or Latino community.
Espinoza works to support greater connections between the Latino community and the City of Minneapolis. His work not only focuses on outreach, but ensuring broader participation in public policy and service delivery to the Latino community. Espinoza successfully supported a partnership between the City of Minneapolis and the Latino community that led to the passage of Minnesota’s dream act, opening access to higher education for hundreds of residents. Espinoza has also worked closely with many of the City of Minneapolis’ departments to increase awareness and access to City programs and service for community members.
Previous winners of the OTHLI include: Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis; president and CEO of the National Council of la Raza, Janet Murguia; former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson; actress Eva Longoria, civil rights activist Dolores Huerta; U. S. Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros; and Edward James Olmos.