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Mexico awards a Norristown group for improving the lives of Mexican Americans

The Ohtli Award honors those who open a path for others or who have bettered the lives of Mexicans living abroad.


The Mexican government Tuesday night honored a Norristown agency, the Center for Culture, Art, Training and Education (CCATE), for bettering the lives of Mexican Americans in Montgomery County.

Alicia Kerber-Palma, head consul for the Mexican government in Philadelphia, presented the Ohtli Award, which comes from the Nahuatl word that means road or path.

"The vision with which CCATE has been created helps this organization, driven by the community, to develop the talent that Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and people from Latin America bring and multiply with the local community and surroundings," Kerber-Palma said at the ceremony, held in the organization's public space.

Obed Arango Hisijara, CCATE's executive director, said the award honors the nonprofit's commitment to helping young people in its community.

"We decided from the beginning that love would be our guide, and so we receive this prize thinking about the thousands of refugee and migrant children around the world, including those who are in this country in need of a community of love," Arango Hisijara said.

Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) presented a citation from the state Senate, honoring the organization.

Founded in 2011, CCATE serves 275 Latino families who participate in educational, art, health, and environmental science programs at The Centre Theater in Norristown. CCATE is the 10th organization to receive the Ohtli Award, which was first granted in 1996, and the first organization in the Philadelphia region.

The Mexican government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute of Mexican Abroad gives out the award. Its name recognizes those who best open a path for others.