Diamante Awards

2018 Latino Diamante Awards Winners

Cary, NC – The Diamante Arts and Cultural Center promotes, develops and advocates for Latino and Hispanic culture, arts and achievement all over North Carolina but the organization is based right here in Cary. This past weekend, Diamante had their annual awards ceremony to recognize special contributions to the community.

The Latino Diamante Awards have been presented since 1996 and this year, they were held at the Cary Arts Center on Saturday, November 10, 2018.

This year’s awards went to:

Art & Culture – Rodrigo Dorfman, of Durham, NC presented by Ricardo Velasquez of La Conexion Newspaper.

Business – Angel Colon (La Grande AM), of Zebulon, NC presented by Carlos Liriano with Wells Fargo Bank.

Community Involvement – Judge Luis “Lou” Olivera (Cumberland Co. Court), of Fayetteville, NC.

Education – Vivian Perez Chandler (YMCA), of Winston-Salem, NC presented by Nancy Nuñez with Mia Magazine.

Health & Science – Enrique Catana Ramiro (Wake Forest FaithHealth), of Winston-Salem, NC presented by Diamante Board Member Linda Stone.

Latino Advocate – Ralph Capps (Boys & Girls Club), of Raleigh, NC presented by Nancy Nuñez with Mia Magazine.

Jaime Leon Youth Award – Aries Choate, of Garner, NC, and Cynthia Vanessa Rios, of Raleigh, NC.

The Lizette Cruz Watko Award – Luis Lobo (BB&T) of Winston-Salem, NC, presented by Lizette Cruz Watko with Watko Entertainment.

Champion Award – Bobby Jett, Manager of Customer Care Operations at Duke Energy (Diamante’s corporate partner), presented by Diamante Board Chair Roberto Perez.

Diamante Awards

Judge Luis “Lou” Olivera (Cumberland Co. Court), of Fayetteville, NC

The Jaime Leon Youth Award was previously known as the Youth Accomplishment Award but this year it was renamed after Jaime Leon. Leon was one of the awards’ founders and he died earlier this year. The award was presented by Leon’s widow Martha Leon, as well as Garland Scarboro, the Diversity and Inclusion Director at Food Lion.

Live entertainment at the awards show included spoken word artist Herrison Chicas from Charlotte, dance groups such as Mexican folk group Orgullo y Alma Latina from Raleigh, Triangle-based Mambo Dinamico Dance Company and Taiki Folclor Latino dance group from Durham. The show’s headliner was Luis Sanz, a cuatro musician and composer that came directly from Puerto Rico to perform.

Guests included Councilmember Ken George, Representative David Price and Governor Roy Cooper.

Diamante Awards


Story by staff reports. Photos courtesy of Diamante, Inc.

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