Luis is currently the Director of Library Technical Services at El Paso Community College. His life-long goal is to improve literacy and library services to the diverse and growing Latino population of the Unites States. He has held numerous leadership positions in REFORMA, the National Association to promote library and information services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.He served as REFORMA National President in 2008-09. Under his leadership, effort were initiatd to create a 501(c) 3 non profit organization. This goal was accomplished last year with the creation of the REFORMA Educational Foundation.
As president of El Paso Public Library Association, Luis continues on his mission to support events and projects that addresses the vital issues of reading, literacy, and library services in this community. EPPLA has created poetry and reading contests for midlle school children of El Paso. The most recent event was our donation of 144 Dr. Seuss books for a reading activity led by one of our member in a school in el Segundo Barrio.
With the help of the community, EPPLA will continue offering cultural programs that benefit the cultural growth of our children in El Paso.
Marielena Garza D’Vargas is the treasurer of EPPLA. She owns Seltec International Inc. and previously was a treasurer and city clerk for the city of Sunland Park. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Texas El Paso and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Latin American and Border Studies.
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of German parents, Gertrude Muro or Gerty started falling in love with education at an early age. Every day she sadly watched her childhood friend Christel or Cristiana, nine months older than Gertrude, walk by their home to school. Christel was her friend and playmate she would miss all morning. One day she decided to run away to the school in their neighborhood with her. Very worried, Gertrude’s mother looked high and low without coming to the realization that Gerty had found the love of her life. Although her first language was German, she loved the teachers and learning, and was soon able to understand and speak the Spanish language.
Besides German grammar, reading and writing taught by her mother, Gertrude started learning English, a language that became her favorite. Gertrude enjoyed learning languages, so she took up French and Italian, and in time became proficient in five tongues.
In high school Gertrude found that she was able to explain English grammar to her classmates, so at the age of 15, she thought she should consider teaching her primary objective for a happy future. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in a school of higher education and became a teacher of English, a language she taught for 20 years in Buenos Aires.
When Gertrude met her loving husband, both decided to emigrate to the United States, a country they enjoyed for over 30 years. Gertrude did not waste any time to further her education. When she obtained her Master’s degree, she was soon employed by El Paso Community College (EPCC), which she considered her second home. She worked fulltime and was a dedicated student until she received her doctor’s degree in 1991, at the age of 51.
Gertrude retired in 2020, after 36 years at EPCC, at the age of 80. She enjoyed every minute of her career, but she has never given up learning and discovering new things. After her husband’s passing, Gertrude self-published three books, two in English and one in Spanish: Ode to Love, The Priest’s Daughter, and Oda al Amor.