El Caldito Dining Room Volunteer

Gabe Martinez grew up in the agricultural “Bread basket” of California’s San Joaquin valley. A veteran of the United States Air Force who, following “Retirement,” also served with the United States Air Coastal Guard, Martinez has helped people during times of distress, times of repair, and times of homelessness and hunger. Martinez was “Part of the 325th Bomb Squadron” on Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington; later studied Business Management at NMSU, and, more recently, commuted from Deming to Las Cruces, New Mexico to help prevent hunger.

Martinez volunteered at El Caldito soup kitchen to stay active, to give back to the community, and to limit food insecurity for the people of southern New Mexico. With kindness, respect, and collaborative problem solving conversation, Martinez visits with clients, staff, and volunteers to connect common interest through art, storytelling, or likeminded volunteerism, and to laugh and joke with the spirit of resiliency.

For places like Mesilla Valley Community of Hope to exist, Martinez describes geographically convenient Consolidated Services Models for homeless health and human services. To increase beneficial outcomes for those unable to reach the Hope Campus in Las Cruces, Martinez suggests an increase of community “Satellite” food pantry locations throughout Doña Ana County. 

The western train to Deming, New Mexico
The train to Deming, New Mexico

A keen lapidary artist, Martinez carves personalized, memorialized, and strikingly beautiful Yuca and Sotol Walking Sticks as gifts to military veterans. Whether unloading the big trucks of Casa de Peregrinos, or keeping the bread basket wagon stocked with gleaned donuts and bakery items at El Caldito, Martinez’s volunteerism brings people together to help one another address New Mexico’s poverty, homelessness, and hunger.



Narrator Gabe Martinez

Hope Stories 11 –– 1h 51m duration. Recorded at Jardin de Los Niños en La Paz Room on the Hope Campus.


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