Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Friday, November 26, 2010

Borderlander Honored as CNN Hero

Thanks, Guadalupe!

I sat in the family den flipping channels after I awoke from the post-Thanksgiving dinner nap. I was like a kid with a new toy. Our cable back home in Pipe Creek was unplugged back in August of 2008. In the two years since, I had only watched movies and documentaries on DVD or via the Internet. I keep up with the news listening to NPR, on the Internet and reading news magazinese
Today I was mesmerized by the new shows, new commercials, new channels on the tube. It was like a reunion with that quirky old friend you’ve been in a love-hate relationship since kindergarten. Fun to catch up with them --until they pull out their smokes and light up in your pristine living room or ask to borrow money from you again.

In the time before the bad old habits resurfaced (repetitive commercials bearing little creativity) I tuned in to CNN’s Hero awards. I remembered why I loved the old pal in the first place.

The Hero awards honor regular people who act in ways that are not regular, but extraordinary. Like many of us, the nominees have ideas to improve and change the world, but unlike many of us, they have the stamina and moxie to follow through with their ideas and really do change the world for the better.

The nominees came from around the world—Scotland to India, and included one nominee from the Borderlands at El Paso-Juarez. The Borderlands nominee was introduced by the Hollywood actress, Jessica Alba. The young actress is beautiful beyond measure. Even so, her light seemed dim next to the nominee, 74 year old Guadalupe Arizpe de la Vega, who was being recognized for her more than 30 year efforts at improving access to health to families in Juarez.

The short video of Dona Guadalupe’s project showed the stylish woman walking through the hospital she built in Juarez. The first words from the honoree on the video focused on her belief that women could be empowered by having control over their reproductive lives, education and health care. I was so thankful her words were beaming across every continent to which CNN sent its signal.

The svelte woman wore a beautiful rebozo as she stood at the podium and delivered her acceptance speech in English, and ended it in Spanish with a short, inspirational and encouraging message about Mexico’s future.

Questions I would like to ask Dona Guadalupe:
1. How did you fund your project, through donations or your own money?
2. Is there a way to reproduce your project in other border communities?
3. How do you keep so positive and productive while living in the crisis that Juarez and its people have suffered with the cartel’s turf wars for the lucrative American drug market?
4. How can I look as stylish as you?
Here is a link to a video showing Dona Lupita at work: