In 2008, The AL DÍA Foundation, a non profit organization founded by Hernán Guaracao, presented the first two awards, worth $20,000, to two distinguishing journalists, both of them from California. Far right, Matt O’Brien, from Daily Review, and Claudia Núñez, from La Opinion, with the Félix Varela medals which accompanied the cash award of $10,000 each. At the center, Alberto Ibargüen, president & CEO of the Knight Foundation, and Zita Arocha, professor of the University of Texas at the presentation of the Varela Awards, at Temple University. Arocha, of Cuban origin, is juror of this award, alongside journalists Albor Ruiz, Emilio Sanchez and Linn Washington. Instead of engineering, Hernán chose to reward the good “engineers of the language,” acknowledging those who use it for the purpose of divulging the little known reality of the latino community of the United States. Photo Archivo AL DÍA News.