When Zoe Saldana stepped onstage, the "Guardians of the Galaxy" star hinted that her award was overdue.

“It took you guys a long time," the actress, 36, said to the laughing crowd. “But I’m finally here, thank you!”

Saldana was honored Thursday evening for her acting achievements and philanthropy at the 27th annual Hispanic Heritage Awards, a ceremony that marks Hispanic contributions to the arts, education, business and technology.


The honorees included Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas), former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams, and Democratic National Committee finance chief Henry Munoz.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation,” said Hinojosa, who received the education award for his work in the STEM fields. “I am delighted that I have seen the growth of women and minorities through STEM to be able to get into those careers which are vastly needed in this country to keep it competing global[ly].”

Williams was not just in Washington to attend the award show. The Grammy-nominated jazz musician was also there to promote art and music education in schools.

“I’ve been doing some work with the [National Association of Music Education],” Williams said. “What we do is we fly in and go to Congress and to the Senate and we advocate for music and art education in public schools, something that is very important and very dear to my heart.”

The honorees freely discussed political issues but were mum about who they’d want to see run for president in 2016.

“I am going to support the member of the Democratic Party for the president,” Munoz said. “Whoever that is, is going to be the next president of the United States.”

Hinojosa said his focus is on the 2014 midterm elections.

“I just want my colleagues — particularly those who serve on the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — to get reelected, and that we bring in another five more in the 2014 elections.”