History of the Spirit of the Barrio

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1986, Family Health Centers of San Diego’s Spirit of the Barrio luncheons have spread awareness about our mission to provide high quality health care to underserved communities across San Diego, while also presenting a variety of themes to our guests as they dine on our legendary tamales.

The event promises to inform, educate and entertain its hundreds of audience members, and does so through a diverse list of guest speakers and subjects. We’ve hosted prominent community leaders and local stars as speakers and entertainers since the luncheon began 30 years ago. From Former Mayor Jerry Sanders to Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, the list of previous Spirit of the Barrio guest speakers is both notable and expansive.

The list includes leaders from our local professional sport teams, such as San Diego Chargers Head Coaches and players, a former San Diego Padres CEO, the Padres radio announcer, and also the San Diego State University Aztec Athletics Department. We’ve even hosted the Associate Director of the U.S. Olympic Training Center!

Entertainers, authors and community leaders have also graced our stage. From motivational speakers to playwrights to comedians to actors, we’ve had all kinds of entertainment for our audience, which is made up of friends, peers, sponsors and community leaders.

One of our recent most-attended Spirit of the Barrio luncheons was in September of 2015, and featured a panel discussion on homelessness and affordable housing in San Diego. Panelists included The Honorable Toni Atkins, Speaker of the California State Assembly, as well as Rick Gentry of the San Diego Housing Commission, Bob McElroy of Alpha Project and Deacon Jim Vargas of Father Joe’s Villages. The conversation around this issue was emceed by 10News’ Kimberly Hunt. It was a successful event!

The Spirit of the Barrio luncheon is a celebrated part of Family Health Centers of San Diego’s history and is still held at the site of our flagship clinic, Logan Heights Family Health Center (1809 National Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113) in the Barrio Logan neighborhood. The luncheons are open to the public and also always feature regionally unique raffle and silent auction prizes.

We hope to see you at an upcoming Spirit of the Barrio!

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