Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Selfless Acts Earn Awards.(Final)

Byline: Katie Burford Journal Staff Writer

Guadalupe Sanchez de Otero

Woman brought N.M. town together with community and health centers

COLUMBUS -- It's shortly after 8 a.m. on a recent Monday morning, and the kitchen at the Andrew Sanchez Memorial Youth Center in this southern New Mexico border town is already filled with the smell of simmering beans and seasoned ground beef.

The radio forecasts a high of 98 degrees, and Guadalupe Sanchez de Otero is mopping her brow as she prepares soft tacos for about 30.

Otero, 52, began serving lunch to the town's seniors about a year ago, after she realized some weren't getting even one square meal a day.

About seven years before that, Otero, who goes by "Lupe," noticed that the town's children didn't have anywhere to go for recreation, so she and several family members founded a youth center in an old fire station.

Several years before that, she saw there was nowhere for local residents to go for routine health care, so she worked to get a clinic established.

With Otero's help, a former tavern across the street from the youth center has been turned into a library. …

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