Mexico honors El Pasoan for work with migrants


Ruben Garcia provides shelter, food and legal services at Annunciation House

Martha Barcena (right), Mexico’s Ambassador to the United states, presents the Ohtli award to Ruben Garcia, director of Annunciation House in El Paso, in recognition for his work on behalf of migrants.

EL PASO, Texas — The Mexican government has recognized the work of an El Paso immigration advocate in protecting Mexican citizens in need abroad.

Ruben Garcia, executive director of Annunciation House in El Paso, this weekend received the Ohtli Award from Mexican Ambassador Martha Barcena during the annual League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Mexico every year presents the Ohtli to people who have contributed to the well-being of its citizens in the United States or other countries.

In the case of Garcia, his efforts to shelter, feed and provide a safe environment for immigrants pre-dates the Central American and Cuban migrant surge that began in October.

Garcia is a former head of Youth and Young Adult Services at the El Paso Catholic Diocese and in 1978 cofounded Annunciation House. The organization has assisted more than 250,000 migrants and refugees since then, with many of them receiving legal and educational services in addition to basic food and shelter.

“LULAC is proud to honor Ruben Garcia, director of Annunciation House and Ohtli award winner, an honor bestowed by the Government of Mexico to those who have dedicated their lives to improving the well-being of Mexicans living abroad,” said Domingo Garcia, national president of LULAC.

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The mission of is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.