Three years ago, Alfred and Elvira Diaz-Infante sat down with their family to discuss a way to honor Alfred’s parents, Luis and Evelia.  In 1961, Luis and Evelia immigrated to Salinas, California. Being in a new country with a new language and few contacts was a challenge that they took on to provide better opportunities for their children and grandchildren to come.

“I wanted to do something special,” said Diaz-Infante about setting up this endowment to honor his parents. “It was important for my three children and the rest of the family to learn that thanks to my parents, they get to live here and have all the opportunities given to them.”

Before his passing last year, Luis expressed that while he was unable to have an extensive formal education, he was proud to see how much his four children and numerous grandchildren had achieved in their own educations and careers.

“We know that this success is due to the sacrifices he made to lay a strong foundation for his family and to the importance of education that he instilled in us,” wrote Alfred’s niece, Amy Diaz-Infante, in his obituary. “This educational legacy is not only enumerated in the achievements of his children and grandchildren, but also lives on in the local community through the Díaz-Infante Family Scholarship at Hartnell College.”

The Díaz-Infante Family Scholarship was established in 2017 in honor of Luis and Evelia with a $15,000 fund that will grow with family donating into it each year. It will be awarded to farmworkers, children of farmworkers, or low-income students pursuing degrees in business, engineering, healthcare, communications, or education.

“My wife and I wanted to create a culture of giving in the family,” said Diaz-Infante. “We wanted to have something that we could do together as a family.”

Luis and Evelia labored as farmworkers in the Salinas Valley; though when Luis demonstrated his metal-working and problem-solving skills to repair field equipment when others could not, he was quickly given charge of maintaining and developing agricultural equipment essential to keeping operations running. Later, he would work as a welder for many years, which was a specialized trade that counted very few Mexican immigrants in their ranks.

Diaz-Infante knows about philanthropy and legacy giving through his involvement as a board member for the Hartnell College Foundation for the last 12 years. He is a Hartnell alum who transferred to Sacramento State University for his bachelor’s, and earned a master’s at UC Berkeley. He is the President/CEO of CHISPA where he has worked for almost 30 years.

Through this endowed scholarship fund, Elvira wants to also honor her parents, Ruben and Elvira, who always emphasized the importance of an education.

“Just like my in-laws, my parents always said ‘la educación, nadie te la quita,’ ‘no one can take an education away from you,’” said Elvira. “My dad made a lot of sacrifices when living in Guadalajara, Mexico to make sure my 5 siblings and I received the best education.”

Currently, Elvira, a cancer survivor, works for the Language Development Center at Natividad School where she helps immigrant children to adjust to a new language and a new curriculum. This is a job she sees more like a community service.

Alfred met Elvira on one of his trips to Guadalajara. He did not speak Spanish and she did not Speak English. They fell in love and settled in Salinas. They have been married for 31 years and have three adult children, Karina, Alexis, and Marcos and are so excited to be expecting their first grandchild this summer.

“In our household, it was never about questioning if you were going to college, it was a matter of where,” said Alfred. “Our children graduated from college, Karina has a Master’s Degree and both Alexis and Marcos are about to enter their master’s programs.”

For the Diaz-Infante family, the legacy Luis and his surviving wife of 64 years, Evelia have left is of hard work, strong work ethics, and of achieving goals through higher education.

Three years ago, Alfred and Elvira Diaz-Infante sat down with their family to discuss a way to honor Alfred’s parents, Luis and Evelia.  In 1961, Luis and Evelia immigrated to Salinas, California. Being in a new country with a new language and few contacts was a challenge that they took on to provide better opportunities for their children and grandchildren to come.

“I wanted to do something special,” said Diaz-Infante about setting up this endowment to honor his parents. “It was important for my three children and the rest of the family to learn that thanks to my parents, they get to live here and have all the opportunities given to them.”

Before his passing last year, Luis expressed that while he was unable to have an extensive formal education, he was proud to see how much his four children and numerous grandchildren had achieved in their own educations and careers.

“We know that this success is due to the sacrifices he made to lay a strong foundation for his family and to the importance of education that he instilled in us,” wrote Alfred’s niece, Amy Diaz-Infante, in his obituary. “This educational legacy is not only enumerated in the achievements of his children and grandchildren, but also lives on in the local community through the Díaz-Infante Family Scholarship at Hartnell College.”

The Díaz-Infante Family Scholarship was established in 2017 in honor of Luis and Evelia with a $15,000 fund that will grow with family donating into it each year. It will be awarded to farmworkers, children of farmworkers, or low-income students pursuing degrees in business, engineering, healthcare, communications, or education.

“My wife and I wanted to create a culture of giving in the family,” said Diaz-Infante. “We wanted to have something that we could do together as a family.”

Luis and Evelia labored as farmworkers in the Salinas Valley; though when Luis demonstrated his metal-working and problem-solving skills to repair field equipment when others could not, he was quickly given charge of maintaining and developing agricultural equipment essential to keeping operations running. Later, he would work as a welder for many years, which was a specialized trade that counted very few Mexican immigrants in their ranks.

Diaz-Infante knows about philanthropy and legacy giving through his involvement as a board member for the Hartnell College Foundation for the last 12 years. He is a Hartnell alum who transferred to Sacramento State University for his bachelor’s, and earned a master’s at UC Berkeley. He is the President/CEO of CHISPA where he has worked for almost 30 years.

Through this endowed scholarship fund, Elvira wants to also honor her parents, Ruben and Elvira, who always emphasized the importance of an education.

“Just like my in-laws, my parents always said ‘la educación, nadie te la quita,’ ‘no one can take an education away from you,’” said Elvira. “My dad made a lot of sacrifices when living in Guadalajara, Mexico to make sure my 5 siblings and I received the best education.”

Currently, Elvira, a cancer survivor, works for the Language Development Center at Natividad School where she helps immigrant children to adjust to a new language and a new curriculum. This is a job she sees more like a community service.

Alfred met Elvira on one of his trips to Guadalajara. He did not speak Spanish and she did not Speak English. They fell in love and settled in Salinas. They have been married for 31 years and have three adult children, Karina, Alexis, and Marcos and are so excited to be expecting their first grandchild this summer.

“In our household, it was never about questioning if you were going to college, it was a matter of where,” said Alfred. “Our children graduated from college, Karina has a Master’s Degree and both Alexis and Marcos are about to enter their master’s programs.”

For the Diaz-Infante family, the legacy Luis and his surviving wife of 64 years, Evelia have left is of hard work, strong work ethics, and of achieving goals through higher education.