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AARP Celebrates History, Culture and Achievements with 2022 VIVA! The Gala

Houston’s Institute of Hispanic Culture (IHCH) held its annual gala at the Hilton America on September 17th. This year’s theme is “VIVA! The Gala”. Headlining the evening were honorees in recognition of their tireless work within Houston’s Latinx community, including Rosalinda Martinez, Director of Community Strategy for AARP, Texas.


AARP was a proud sponsor of the IHCH Gala, which celebrated the history, legacy and accomplishments of many Latinx leaders in our region and made a difference with their groundbreaking work.

Martinez was recognized as a 2022 Viva Honoree – Leader in Community Philanthropy.

“We are honored to receive this award in recognition of AARP’s contribution to advocating for Houston’s Latino community,” Martinez said. We could not have accomplished this important task without our numerous partners.”


Houston Astro Jose Altuve and his wife Nina were commended for their exemplary work in bringing the importance of inclusion, culture and education to the forefront in promoting and empowering the Latinx community. He was one of the leaders of the Hispanic community.

AARP volunteers Eddie Orum, Mary Esther Vigil and Sonia Ramirez attended the gala along with AARP State Director Tina Tran and Outreach & Advocacy’s new Associate State Director Jennifer Barrera Wandrey. The gala included a quiet auction, festive decorations, and several professional salsa dancers entertaining the crowd. The evening was capped off with live band music and a great night of dancing.

The money raised that night will go towards IHCH’s long-term mission. This includes funding scholarship programs to assist qualified students who need assistance in pursuing higher education.

Throughout the year, AARP works with various community groups and organizations, such as IHCH, to continue its mission to “empower people to choose how they live as they age.”

AARP began its partnership with IHCH at the start of the pandemic, Tran said.

“We provided virtual events for caregivers, mental health resources, and promoted concerts featuring Houston’s cultural landmarks, local artists, and most recently, music from across Latin America.”

The event was held during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th each year.

“This is a very proud moment for AARP Texas. The outreach and engagement of the Hispanic community in Houston and beyond is critical to the future and survival of our organization.” She embodies community, and the resilience of Hispanic culture and community, and we are very pleased that she received the recognition she deserves from Houston’s Institute of Hispanic Culture. “

AARP is honored to continue celebrating this month by hosting a variety of virtual and in-person events throughout Texas.visit Register for these engaging events and learn more about AARP, its mission, and its impact on the community.

Story: Sonia Ramirez, AARP Texas Volunteer