Los Abogados Honors 2018 Award Recipients

Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association is pleased to announce the 2018 award recipients who will be honored at the Los Abogados Anniversary Gala on October 13, 2018.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Cecilia and Andrea Esquer (Posthumously)


Cecilia Esquer earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education, a Master of Arts in Spanish Literature, and a Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University. Ms. Esquer was a Chicana activist, advocating against social and legal injustice in education, employment, voting, and was active with community and city issues impacting the Latino community. Among her many accomplishments, she served as the Chief Counsel in the Public Advocacy Division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office under former Attorney General Terry Goddard, as well as faculty at McClintock High School, Phoenix College and Arizona State University. She also served on the Valle del Sol Board of Directors, the Legal Services Corporation Board of Directors after being nominated by President Jimmy Carter and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, several State and City of Tempe Boards and Commissions, and was involved in many political campaigns. Ms. Esquer, along with her husband, Elias Esquer, dedicated her life to fighting for the equal treatment of women and minorities, and working with students of all ages to ensure they had a voice. In 2010, she authored the book, “The Lie About My Inferiority, Evolution of a Chicana Activist.” It was her hope that her memoir would inspire young Latinas and Latinos to continue the fight against social injustices in our communities.

Andrea Esquer continued with her mother's legacy from an early age.  Along with her parents, Andrea was involved in various political campaigns, and fought against injustice impacting the Latino community. She dedicated her life to public service and journalism. Ms. Esquer received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Arizona, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University. She worked for the Department of Energy, as an aide for President Clinton in Washington D.C., NASA, Mesa Community College and the City of Mesa. Ms. Esquer also served as the Public Information Officer of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office under former Attorney General Terry Goddard, and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation. Ms. Esquer loved the arts and served as a long-standing Board Member of Xico.

Exemplary Service Award: Margarita Silva, Silva & Fontes

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Margarita Silva is an attorney who has spent more than two decades enhancing the legal profession for Latinos by promoting diversity, and improving the quality and administration of legal services for all. She is a graduate of the ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, and is currently a partner at Silva & Fontes, a Latina-owned immigration and criminal defense firm.

Ms. Silva is and has served as a leader in many professional and community services organizations, including on the Board of Directors for the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, St. Joseph’s Hospital Community Board, the Criminal Justice Act Panel Review Committee, the City of Phoenix Judicial Advisory Board, the Supreme Court Commission on Minorities in the Judiciary, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Immigration Project, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the State Bar Immigration Section.

Ms. Silva serves as a judge pro tempore in the Guadalupe Municipal Court and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. As a member of Los Abogados, she has served on the Board for 14 years, and was President of the organization in 2006.

Emerging Leader Award: Freddy Saavedra, Alex & Saavedra, P.C.


Freddy Saavedra is a rising star dedicated to serving the Latinos in the profession and in the community. He graduated from the ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and, after only four years of practice, is now a named partner at Alex & Saavedra, P.C. where he practices in all areas of personal injury law. Freddy has served for four years as the Hispanic National Bar Association Region XIV President, which covers Arizona and Nevada.  As president, he has provided invaluable support to the members of Los Abogados, and to law students at all four law schools in Region XIV, and was instrumental in securing Phoenix as the venue for the 2020 HNBA conference.  As a Director of Los Abogados, Freddy has been a dedicated leader on various committees and in various capacities.

Community Service Award: Valle del Sol, Inc.


Valle del Sol, a Latino-serving organization, will receive the 2018 Community Service Award for their significant investment in the Latino community. Valle del Sol provides health and human services to Latino families throughout the region, as well as provides leadership programs for the next generation of Latino and diverse leaders.

Sensitive to people of all cultures, Valle del Sol was founded in 1970 to fill a gap in behavioral health and social services available to the Latino community and underserved persons with nowhere else to turn. Valle del Sol serves all communities, and believes providing services that are culturally appropriate remains essential.

For more than 44 years, Valle del Sol has led the way in behavioral health, human services, and leadership development by assisting thousands of men, women, children, families, and the elderly through counseling, substance abuse treatment, support services, and leadership development programs.

Please join us in honoring these distinguished recipients on October 13, 2018, and help us celebrate their many contributions to Los Abogados and the community. For more information please visit http://www.losabogadosgala.org/.