Evangelina Moreno’s close-knit neighborhood in southern New Mexico is a dusty patch of land and small homes in Chaparral. There, the mother of four is working hard to make sure her family and community get the resources they need.
Chaparral is among New Mexico’s colonias, rural communities located near the U.S.-Mexico border that often lack adequate electricity, water and housing.
When Evangelina grew tired of watching neighbors with limited resources drive miles simply to get a copy made, send a fax or just buy diapers, she decided to act. The Moreno family transformed their garage into a neighborhood convenience store, Desert Aire Copy & Fax Services, LLC. What she lacked was the capital to fill it.
One of ACCION’s valued community partners, the New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network, helped Evangelina find her way to ACCION. A $3,285 loan not only bought Evangelina needed equipment and inventory but also the knowledge that someone else believed in her vision for her community.
Evangelina’s passion for her community is deeply rooted in her family’s history. In 1952, her father was one of thousands of farm workers who came from rural Mexico to help fill the American labor gap during and after World War II under the U.S. government’s Bracero Program. Evangelina is proud of that history and is dedicated to raising the next generation of trailblazers.
"What I tell my kids is that they have to work hard to have a better future," she says.