The 12th Zaragoza Awards Pay Tribute to the Courage, Achievements and Heritage of the Los Angeles Mexican Community

Honoring those who, like General Ignacio Zaragoza, set an example of persistence and determination in the face of adversity

The 12th Zaragoza Awards was hosted by the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood for a celebration of Cinco de Mayo organized by Mr. Pedro Ramos, president of the L.A.-based nonprofit UPEXT, Union de Poblanos en el Exterior (Union of people from Puebla Living Abroad).

Cinco de Mayo is a day of pride and unity, honoring the Mexican community’s rich cultural traditions and its enduring spirit of resilience against adversity. It holds a special significance for those hailing from the state of Puebla. The award takes its name from General Ignacio Zaragoza, who secured Mexico’s future by leading 2,000 Mexican soldiers to victory against 6,000 invading French troops at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Cinco de Mayo has become a symbol of tenacity and courage—a powerful reminder of the strength and perseverance that characterizes the Mexican-American community. 

The celebration included a performance of the play Cinco de Mayo—an American Tradition by Dr. David Hayes-Bautista.

The Zaragoza Awards ceremony honored Mexican Americans selected for their leadership and outstanding service in the fields of immigration, public service, communications, education, business, sports and culture. Each awardee succeeded despite great challenges in the courageous spirit of General Zaragoza.

UPEXT is dedicated to helping the Los Angeles Mexican migrant community face and prevail over the many challenges of living far from home. They contend with a different language and culture and often face economic hardships, and limited access to healthcare and education. UPEXT is also dedicated to reuniting families. It has brought together more than 550 families by helping secure visitor visas for parents and grandparents who, in many cases, have not seen their children or grandchildren for decades. It also organizes programs to assist with social services and to promote pride in the culture and heritage of Puebla.

Scientology Churches of Los Angeles, including the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre, the Church of Scientology Los Angeles, and the Church of Scientology of the Valley, work with UPEXT and Mr. Ramos in support of the human rights, culture and values of the Los Angeles Latinx communities. The Church is deeply committed to the rights of all, inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, who believed that “human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.”

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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