Alex Guerra, Executive Director at Amigos Del Valle, Inc
How did you become interested in this work?
To be honest I didn’t know what Amigos Del Valle, Inc. did when I first came in to work for the organization. Once I learned of the organization’s mission statement and meeting the people we serve, I fell in love with helping the most vulnerable on a daily basis.
What drives your passion?
Meeting those faces of people we serve, the volunteers, our employees. It drives me to keep trying to improve our service because we all share that passion to serve.
Does your organization offer any programs other than home meal delivery? If so, what are they?
Yes, Amigos Del Valle, Inc. offers senior housing where we have a total of nine (9) properties in our area to house seniors. In those properties we have our congregate meal program where seniors can enjoy a meal and socialize with their peers. We also have transportation services to bring more seniors into those congregate community centers and to take them out to different outings. We also have a summer feeding program for kids on summer break which is going into our third year of service. In 2019, we started an Early Memory Loss Program called Mentes Capaces or Capable Minds in English in the Brownsville area and looking to expand that service throughout our region.
What's the biggest challenge in your work?
The biggest challenge is not having enough funding to feed our home delivered meal waiting list. We are at about 1,000 seniors in waiting.
What's the best advice that you have ever received?
Keep moving forward! It makes no sense to look back!
Was there a client, volunteer, or poignant moment in your work that has had a great impact on you?
There are several clients that come to my mind but one in particular who is special to me. My grandmother was enrolled in our program. She passed away in 2018 and I think of her every time we serve our seniors. I want to make sure we take care of them for that brief moment we get to see them. She is also part of the passion I have for this work.