Inland Empire doctor, Cheech Marin honored with Latino Spirit Awards – San Bernardino Sun


Two people with ties to the Inland Empire have won 2022 Latino Spirit Awards.

Dr. Guillermo Valenzuela, an Inland physician who has given free laptops to students; and Cheech Marin, a comedian who is opening a Chicano art museum next month in Riverside; are among the nine winners and one special honoree at the 20th annual awards.

Given by the California Latino Legislative Caucus, the honors salute Latino leaders in various walks of life from across the state.

“As Latino Caucus Chair, I am so honored to recognize these ordinary men and women who do extraordinary things for the Latino Community,” Latino Caucus Chair Sen. María Elena Durazo said in a news release. “They represent innovation and a spirit of struggle in labor, business, philanthropy and the arts.”

Valenzuela was recognized with the Achievement in Health & Science award.

A Chile native, Valenzuela became an OB-GYN physician and built a women’s health department that serves low-income residents in San Bernardino County, the release states. Valenzuela owns seven clinics that serve 20,000 families. He founded the Valenzuela Family Foundation and the Hispanic Health Institute to support programs and research.

Valenzuela, a Redlands resident, continues to award laptops to Inland area students who compete in an essay contest.

Cheech Marin, seen Saturday, May 7, 2022, at a Los Lobos benefit concert in Riverside, has won a 2022 Latino Spirit Award. The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum will open in June in downtown Riverside. (File photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Marin was honored as the “special guest / 2018 Latino Spirit Award honoree”

The actor, director, writer, musician and art collector remains famous for being in the comedy duo Cheech & Chong and has starred in eight feature films. Marin has a large private collection of Chicano art, the release states. Partnering with the city of Riverside and the Riverside Art Museum, he will open the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum on Saturday, June 18, in the former main library in downtown Riverside.

“The Cheech” will become the home of Marin’s more than 700 works of Chicano art, including paintings, sculptures, and photography.



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