Thank you AlphaGraphics


We would like to thank of Edgar Granado and Ana Basurto of AlphaGraphics (6303 N Mesa St) for donating the design and printing of the poster we are using to promote our Christmas Toy and Food Distribution project.    The poster features one of the families we are helping with food this year.   Everyone in our community helping in their own special way is important to this effort.  AlphaGraphics is also a drop off point for non perishable food items, blankets, winter jackets and toys.   Please make your donations before December 20.

Four more drop off points in West El Paso


We are happy to report that four more businesses have signed up to join Avila’s Mexican Food Restaurant as drop off points for toys, blankets, coats and non-perishable items for our Christmas food and toy distribution project on December 22.   They include AlphaGraphics, 6303 N Mesa St; CVS Pharmacy, 680 E Redd Road; Ardovino’s Pizza 2, 865 N Resler Dr M and Charlie Clark Nissan, 6451 S Desert Blvd.   Please remember that the deadline to donate is December 20.

Thank you so much for all of your help.  Let’s remember the life of President H.W. Bush this Christmas by becoming points of light in our community.

Update – Christmas food and toy distribution project

Avila’s Mexican Food Restaurant at 6232 Mesa, El Paso will be a collection point for the Tree of Hopes Christmas Food and Toy Distribution Project.

They will accept non perishable food items, blankets, winter jackets and toys Monday to Thursday 11am to 2pm and 4:30 to 8:30pm, Friday to Saturday 11am to 8:30pm and Sunday from 9am to 3pm.

Donations can be made online at anytime between now and December 20.

Special thanks to Andy Avila and his staff for all of their help.

Tonight on Univision – 10pm


Founding Tree of Hopes board member Nestor Ramirez was interviewed today for tonight’s 10pm News Program on Univision Channel 26.  During the interview he told Univision “we want to help people in great need in far northwest Juarez that most people in El Paso do not know.  We need food, blankets, toys and money to help us with our Christmas food and toy distribution project .

Donations can be made online and  non perishable food items, blankets, winter jackets and toys can be dropped off at Avilas Mexican Food Restaurant, 6232 Mesa, El Paso Texas Monday to Thursday 11am to 2pm and 4:30 to 8:30pm, Friday to Saturday 11am to 8:30pm and Sunday from 9am to 3pm.

Thank you Univision and all the people who make this media outlet such an important part of our community.  Channel 26 broadcasts its Spanish news program across the Juarez-El Paso metroplex.   During the last quarter of 2017 it was the number one Spanish network.


Helping families in need this Christmas


Tree of Hopes is planning a special Christmas food and toy distribution project in far northwest Juárez near the Santa Teresa Bridge on Saturday, December 22, 2018.  We hope to help needy families living in one of the poorest areas of the city along the Texas-New Mexico border with Mexico.  Last year I saw first hand the great need so many people in this area experience when I helped the Comedor Aposento on Christmas Eve.  We distributed blankets and food baskets and toys donated by the the Service Systems and Associates Safari Outfitters gift shop at the El Paso Zoo. This year I am inviting friends, Rotarians and others who are interested to join me on December 22. Tree of Hopes is working on a list of families to help and we hope to raise funds to purchase food items and other items like toys and blankets.

Sign up here before December 20 to help. For more information text or email me at 915-474-1456 (Send a text to arrange for a call) or email

If you can’t join us on that day three easy ways you can help besides signing up for the December 22 distribution program include:

  1. Making a tax deductible donation. 
  2. Liking our Facebook page. 
  3. Following our blog at

Welcome – Zaragoza Rotarians

Last month we were very happy to welcome the Zaragoza Rotary Club when they visited the Tree of Hopes Comedor Project.  Rotarians Claudia Urista and Ofelia Mletzko joined me for lunch in the Comedor with Velia Hernandez and Victor Villalobos and nearly 30 children.

Claudia and Ofelia treated everyone to pizza and cookies and gave each child school supplies.  Rotarians are working on many humanitarian projects in Juarez and we hope that they will continue to help families living in Anapra.

To help raise funds for all the important projects they are working including Rotacare, the Zaragoza Rotary Club of El Paso will present their First Annual Holiday Harmony Concert with internationally renown Italian Pianist Francesco Attesti. The concert will also feature Adian Salas, Opera Baritone, El Paso Native and UTEP Graduate.   Click here for ticket information.


Currently, Francesco Attesti performs regularly in internationally prestigious concert halls [4] like: Philharmonia Hall of Saint Petersburg, Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Moscow, Mozarteum of Salzburg, Philharmonie Essen, International Piano Festival of Warsaw, Sarajevo Winter Festival, Cambridge University, Leicester University, Columbia University in New York, Denver University in Colorado, and the Conservatory Giuseppe Verdi in Milan.

New water line installed

Volunteers helped put in a new water line for the Comedor Aposento Alto this week.  Special thanks to Manuel Payan seen here and Velia Hernandez’s son Nestor for all their help.

This is a great time of year to work on projects to help improve the Comedor complex.  We still need help repairing leaky roofs and donations to help with the cost of heating this winter.

Van donated by El Paso Church

Tree blog

A badly needed used GMC 3500 van with air conditioning was recently donated to the Comedor by the Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana.  Tree of Hopes is always looking for volunteers to help continue efforts to help needy families at the Comedor in Juarez.   The van is already being used to help transport children to the facility.   You can donate online using our PayPal account and all contributions are tax deductible.

Special thanks to Arturo Rodriquez


This month we are honoring Arturo Rodriquez.  Arturo is a contractor living in El Paso who was one of the first major sponsors of the Comedor dining room.   Here he is with his son Abel (far right) and Velia Hernandez’s son Gabriel (far left) at his home near Hueco Tanks State Park.   Tree of Hopes is always looking for volunteers to help continue efforts to help needy families at the Comedor in Juarez.   You can donate online using our PayPal account and all contributions are tax deductible.

The woman who keeps the doors open at the Comedor


As the sun sets on the desert near the slopes of Mount Cristo Rey in Juarez, Velia Hernandez is in her kitchen preparing dinner and getting ready for the week ahead at the Aposento Alto Comedor.  The small complex of rustic buildings in the far northwest corner of Juarez features a multi-purpose dining room where she and her husband Victor Villalobos have been feeding and helping thousands of families since 2009.  Situated near the base of a small desert mesa in the community of Anapra, the facility includes classrooms that serve as dormitories for free medical clinics including eye exams and cancer screenings, music lessons and a place for volunteers from all across the US to spend the night as they cross the border and help build homes for needy families.


Everything that happens in this little corner of the world happens because of caring people mainly in El Paso who help with money and food to keep everything going.  Last month the Comedor received a generous donation of food boxes filled with cereal, fruit and other nutritious items to give to the children who visit every week.  I was able to help load up everything into the 2001 Dodge Ram Van for the trip back to Juarez.

With the help of her husband Victor every day Velia makes sure that everything happens in this little corner of the world.  As I have witnessed her dedication to the work of the Comedor, it is obvious to me that she is one of the unsung local heroes making a difference here the El Paso – Juarez region.   I am proud to know her and support the work that she is doing.