Dozens Volunteer For Huge Christmas Giving Back Lunch Wednesday In Espanola

IMG_6542Volunteers Ralph Martinez, Espanola Pathways Shelter board member, and Valerie Gallegos leave La Cocina Christmas Day with meals for homeless people Martinez located throughout town over the course of several hours. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

Volunteers serve drinks and desserts during the Christmas Giving Back Lunch Wednesday at La Cocina Restaurant in Espanola. Dozens of volunteers from community and church groups as well as individuals who wanted to lend a hand showed up for the event which lasted four hours. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

IMG_6541 (1)City of Espanola Mayor Javier Sanchez checks on members of Espanola Police Department, from left, Officer Daniel Pacheco, Officer Gabe Wadt, Officer Dustin Chavez and Officer Jerome Broyles, who all worked Christmas Day, when they stopped by the Christmas Giving Back Lunch for the community at La Cocina Restaurant. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

IMG_6535Dozens of volunteers helped out at La Cocina Restaurant Wednesday for the annual Christmas Giving Back Lunch, cooking, serving, clearing tables and making hundreds of people welcome in the true spirit of Christmas.  Behind the counter are Espanola Mayor Javier Sanchez right, and City Councilor Councilor Justin Salazar-Torrez. The Los Alamos Reporter was honored to don an apron and wait on tables for the event along with such an amazing group of people. The food was generously contributed by El Parasol, El Paragua, Big Dawgs, JoAnn’s and La Cocina Restaurants. The invitation said, ‘If you are hungry, come and eat. If you are lonely, come and visit with friends. If you don’t feel like being alone, come on by. If you don’t want to cook, come and eat. If you want to volunteer, come help.’ Sanchez said Wednesday evening that the event was ‘the Espanola community at its finest’ and credited his partner, Phil Maestas, owner of La Cocina and Sennie Quintana of Big Dawg’s for making it happen.  Photo by Maire O’Neill/