Founder of Inlakech Cultural Arts Center
33 Years as Educator for Oxnard School District
” Tonight we honor the unsung heroes of our community, the educators … “
Javier Gomez retired from the Oxnard School District in 2006, after 33 years of teaching elementary and junior high school youngsters. Gomez, the eldest of 15 children, was born in Durango, Mexico, and immigrated to the US with his family when he was five. He became a
US citizen at 18.
Gomez is the founder and artistic director of Teatro Inlakech, the Inlakech Cultural Arts Center, a cultural visual and performing arts educational academy which provides free of charge, after school visual and performing arts educational programs to help individuals discover their artistic potential.
For 13 years, he served as artistic director of the Ballet Folklorico Regional. Gomez is co-founder of Café Inlakech, a third world coffee house, he is also a co-founder of the Annual Statewide California Aztlan Chicano / Latino Theatre Festival, showcasing Chicano and Latino Third World Theatre companies since 1988. He has inspired generations of successful Mariachi musicians, actors and dancers over the past thirty years.
Gomez and his wife, Irene, have created the Gomez Foundation to help secure funds to continue offering free of charge services to both youth and adults.
For his work and dedication, Gomez has received awards from the Association of Mexican American Educators, the Governor of the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, the Consul de Mexico Fernando Gamboa, CSUN La Raza Alumni Association, El Concilio del Condado, Ventura County Diversity
Board, Amgens’ Teacher of Excellance Award, KNBC’s Crystal Apple Award, and the City of Oxnard’s Distinguished Citizen Award.
With his broad background of artistic creativity and contributions to youth, Gomez describes himself as an author, poet, Mexican Folklorico dance instructor, historian, educator, stage / film actor, playwright, producer, philanthropist, California Arts Council Artist-in-Residency grant recipient, and loving parent and husband.
He is an exceptional educator who goes beyond the call of duty to listen, assist, and create programs that enrich the lives of both youth and adults.