Monday, February 11, 2013

Genie and Hector Zavaleta: Decades of love, decades of inspiration

During my few years of political activism, there have been few constants -

In 2006, George W. Bush was the President of the US, and the US was an international joke.

In 2013, Barack Obama is President, and the US is back to having some international respect and credibility.

In 2006, JD Hayworth was the representative in Congress for my area.

In 2013, Kyrsten Sinema is the representative in Congress for my area.

In 2006, the vast majority of voters in AZ voted by trotting down to their local polling place and casting their ballots.

In 2013, most voters cast their ballots by trotting down to their mailbox.

In 2006, Arizona was part of the punchlines of some of the jokes that punctuated political discussions.

In 2013, Arizona is part of the punchlines of most of the jokes that punctuate political discussions.

OK, that last is more the continuation of a steady decline than an actual change, but you understand. :)

One of the few true constants, and perhaps the truest one, has been the activism for others, and inspiration to others, of Genie and Hector Zavaleta.  They've been working to improve their community and inspiring others to do the same, for more than five decades.

They've been (deservedly) honored many times by community groups; now they've been honored by the local newspaper with a feature article on them, and their deep love and respect for each other.

From the Arizona Republic, written by Kerry Fehr-Snyder -
Genie and Hector Zavaleta have been married for 54 years, largely, they say, because they have fought for others, not with each other.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, their’s is not the traditional Cupid’s arrow-through-the-heart story, yet their message of love and respect is universal.
The longtime Tempe activists have been helping others since they got married in 1958 in San Antonio, and devoted the first year of their marriage to Migrant Ministry of the National Council of Churches.

I don't normally actually recommend reading a full article in the AZ Republic, even if I link to some here.  However, this one is easily worthy of a full read.

Hector and Genie Zavaleta are two of the best people that I've ever had the privilege of knowing, and I've known a bunch of very good ones.

More on the Zavaletas and their history here, courtesy Chandler-Gilbert Community College, and here, courtesy Presbytery of Grand Canyon.

1 comment:

Randall Holmes said...

The reason we have something we laughingly refer to as "civilization" is because we have people like Genie and Hector.