WASHINGTON, DC (May 5, 2014) – Hispanic Heritage Foundation President (HHF) and CEO Jose Antonio Tijerino received the prestigious Ohtli Recognition from the Government of Mexico during a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the Mexican Cultural Institute at noon on May 5. The Ohtli is considered the highest honor bestowed by the Government of Mexico to a leader outside of Mexico and acknowledges and celebrates the commitment, vision and impact of an individual in lifting the Mexican or Latino community. The Ohtli Award is granted once a year and consists of a medallion, a silver rosette, and a diploma. The word Ohtli means “path” in Nahuatl (language of the Aztecs), and this is what this distinction signifies: to open the path to progress. The title honors and recalls the continued tradition of Aztec descendants who still bid farewell with the phrase “Cualli ohtli!” (To have a good trail/journey).
“I am profoundly humbled and honored to receive the Ohtli from the Government of Mexico, especially from a true visionary like Ambassador Eduardo Medina-Mora who shares HHF’s focus on developing young, innovative Latino leaders who can have an impact today,” said Tijerino who is of Nicaraguan descent. “I’ve attended this event and applauded loudly as great leaders and friends I admire have been recognized such as Raul Yzaguirre, Carlos Gutierrez, Juan Andrade, Janet Murguia, Arturo Rodriguez, Henry Cisneros, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Antonia Fernandez, Eddie Olmos, Hilda Solis and others – to be mentioned in their company in any way makes this award even more meaningful. I’m accepting this recognition on behalf of our board, our amazing staff, our dedicated sponsors and the tens of thousands of young leaders in our network who provide me inspiration, ideas and an indefatigable spirit – a Latino spirit!”
Tijerino has served as president and CEO of HHF for over 12 years during which the national, nonprofit organization has expanded its mission to inspire, prepare, connect and position Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF has developed an innovative, sustainable programmatic model for Latino leadership in 10 areas of focus or Tracks which HHF believes will strengthen the United States and leads a network of tens of thousands of vetted students and young professionals who he believes are “leaders of today and tomorrow.”
HHF’s approach and youth programs have been recognized by the White House, Congress and Fortune 500 Companies. Tijerino is also executive producer of the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center and the television broadcast. He serves on numerous boards and committees including the Latino Leadership Initiative at Harvard, National Parent Teacher Association, National Building Museum, Jefferson Awards, the Robert H. School of Business at University of Maryland, and America’s Promise Alliance, among others.