Luis is on the Extreme Teams, Survey Team, and on the Board of Directors for Extreme Community Makeover. He found out about ECM when he was visiting with his mom a couple years ago. “My mom lives in the Villa Park neighborhood and Angela, the Executive Director, was surveying. She came by my mom’s house to ask if there were any projects we needed help with. In the process, I learned about ECM. I grew up in the neighborhood and I was excited about the opportunity to volunteer and help out,” explains Luis.
Luis truly enjoys being on the Survey Team, “It is nice getting to see the people who live in the neighborhoods. It’s fun to knock on the doors and say hello to the residents. It’s very rewarding seeing who the neighbors are,” says Luis. The Survey Team helps to initiate relationships with community residents and the team is a resource to the volunteer groups on Work Days. The team also helps translate with Spanish speaking residents.
“I’ve been on the Board of Directors for about two years now. It is very nice to see the outcome of all our planning. To be able to see how it all comes together is incredible,” states Luis.
It makes Luis feel good that ECM is helping out his mom’s neighborhood. He knows that ECM’s contribution to the neighborhood has been extremely positive. When talking about his mom’s feeling towards him helping out he says, “She is pretty proud, especially since I finished my masters in Architecture and Landscape Architecture. The social aspect of architecture really plays a role in communities. It can make a neighborhood more welcoming and more safe for people. The ecosystem truly serves people, like having plants and aesthetically pleasing landscaping in the neighborhood,” explains Luis.
Villa Park is 76% Latino. “It was nice growing up there,” states Luis, “my mom, my uncle, and several of my cousins live there. It’s our own little community. From my mom’s house, I had to walk only two blocks to get to my uncle’s house. From there, I had another two blocks and I would be at my cousin’s house.” Latinos often migrate to Villa Park because of the convenience of the Mexican supermarkets that are located in the neighborhood. Sloans Lake is also a popular hangout and Villa Park is convenient and close to downtown Denver.
“Family and community are very important in the Latino culture. Our culture is very community and family oriented. ECM supports the community and that is very important to the Latino culture,” explains Luis. “ECM helps to open your circle and get the outsider connected to their community,” also states Luis.
“It’s fun working on the volunteer Work Days and getting to see the impact we have. We do so much for the homeowners, and especially for disabled and the elderly. It’s always rewarding to see how we are able to help those underserved communities,” passionately says Luis.
If you’d like to learn more about volunteering on the Extreme Teams, click here.