'Albuquerque's Angel' serves the city's needy

Posted at: 03/31/2013 11:11 PM
Updated at: 03/31/2013 11:14 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Albuquerque woman calls it an act of love.

She spent Easter Sunday, like all other Sundays for the past seven years, with Albuquerque’s homeless.

"Hey mijo you came late," said Raquel Aguilera.

She’s a loving mother who cooked Easter dinner. "Papi you want.... What's left of the potato,” she asked.

Except these aren’t her children, they’re Albuquerque’s homeless.

"Thank you ma'am,” said one man grabbing a burrito. “God bless you," she replied.

Aguilera drives an old van, she can’t read and lives in a small apartment.

But she says God has called on her to feed hundreds of homeless residents every Sunday. Many at Lomas and 1st Street. 

Her efforts come from a point in her life when she needed help.

“Because I was hungry one time,” she said starting to cry. “And I live in El Paso and we were so hungry and starving. We were boney kids and... I just thank God every day because I need them. They're like my children."

She says she and her husband pay for much of the cost for the meals, with some help from local charities. It’s not just food she provides.

"I got big t-shirts. Who wants big t-shirts,” she announced to the eager crowd.

Aguilera admits it’s exhausting work.

She needs a knee replacement but will not go through with it because she’s needed here.

"On Sundays, without the lady we wouldn't eat,” says Don Noel.

Noel says bad decisions led him to become homeless 13 years ago.

Aguilera’s compassion is comforting.

"She's my sister. She's my friend. We love her," he said. "She's an angel."

As we reflect sacrifice and love this Easter, you can find it in downtown Albuquerque every Sunday.

"It's something we all supposed to be doing not just me, everybody," said Aguilera.