CALEXICO â€“ Celebrated actor, author, director and social activist Enrique Castillo received a distinguished artist recognition leaf Thursday evening at the Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts Center during a special reception hosted by the Borderlands Institute at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley Campus Calexico Arts Council, the City of Calexico Arts Commission and the Calexico Chamber of Commerce.
Castillo grew up in Calexico and attended Calexico High School before enrolling into college at University of California, Berkeley.
â€œI am often asked how someone from a small town could have made it so far, and I was able to make a leap coming from a small town like Calexico,â€ said Castillo. â€œI simply say, even small towns have big dreams. There is no reason why anyone cannot accomplish their dreams.â€
Castillo began his acting career in 1969 as a member of Luis Valadezâ€™s Teatro Campesino. Through the medium of community-based theater, Teatro Campesino played a role in communicating to the general public key issues and ideals defined by iconic Mexican American Civil Rights leaders such as Cesar Chavez. After his days with the Teatro Campesino, Castillo transitioned to Hollywood and film.
â€œI loved watching movies and television growing up, and what was once my dream is now a reality,â€ said Castillo.
Castillo has starred in over 60 movies and television shows, including “Blood In, Blood Out,” “Mi Familia, El Norte” and “Law and Order.” He received a Screen Actors Guild award nomination for his performance as â€œCesarâ€ in the Showtime series “Weeds.”
Castillo spoke about his new book â€œThe Dead of Summerâ€, a novel set in Imperial Valley, and was available to sign copies of his novel after the recognition ceremony and presentation.