Leti Alvarez

As Interviewed by Madeline Jones, March 18, 2012
"Ever since I was young, I had the passion to help those who didn't have as great a voice as I do."
Leti Alvarez

Introductory Profile: About Leti Alvarez

Leticia “Leti” Alvarez was born in Mexico city. She moved to the United States when she was eleven years old. Being lighter skinned, most people didn’t suspect that Leti spoke Spanish. Therefore, people tended not to racially profile Leti, and she wasn’t discriminated against because of her skin color. However, living in Mexico and the U.S., she saw many people who had less money being discriminated against and not having as many opportunities as she. This inspired Leti to want to help others her entire life, starting volunteer work as a teenager and doing non-profit work as an adult. As a young girl, Leti attended Travis Heights elementary school, then Fulmore middle school, Travis high school, and later UT, so Leti has been in Austin for more than twenty years.

I think the interview took a nice and focused tone. Leti spoke with a lot of passion about her work and the people with whom she’s worked. She seemed very hopeful about the future of her organization. However, she showed concern and sincerity when talking about those less fortunate that her and some of the problems in poorer areas. Leti was very polite but not held back. She seemed comfortable sharing her stories and relaxed during the interview. I think one thing I took away from the interview was the desire to go out and help others who are less fortunate than I, as Leti has done and continues to do.

Leti is medium height and slender. She has light skin with dark hair. Her eyes had such a focused look, her sensitive and fun personality showing. Her voice was defined but kind.

Currently, Leti works at the Girl Scouts of Central Texas Council office, working to develop programs and integrate east and south-east schools into Girl Scout programs. She also teaches the girls and their parents about Girl Scouts, and tries to get scholarships for those girls to participate in Girl Scouts. Leti works with many diverse communities, including those that may not speak English, helping them participate in Girl Scouts.

Before her job at Girl Scouts, Leti worked for almost three years in Madagascar as a community liaison. She was placed in a small village in Madagascar by the Peace Corps to work with the local people. Among her responsibilities was teaching the locals about sustainable farming, conservation, hygiene, health, and an environmental club. The environmental club had 14-18 year olds, who learned about the importance of conservation and biodiversity of their forest. In Madagascar, most of the children only go to school through fourth grade, and to go to higher grades the kids must go to another village and rent a home to stay in or stay with relatives. Many of the families cannot afford the higher education, so when Leti came back from working there, she was on the founding board of directors M.A.D.A.

Maroantsetra Area Development Association (M.A.D.A.) is raising money to build a library and youth house for children to stay in for free while they attend higher levels of school. There are practically no books, especially libraries in Madagascar, so the library would be a huge benefit for the community. Also, the organization works to obtain scholarships for kids to go to higher education and hopefully college. Leti’s also worked with Friends of Madagascar, who sends supplies to Madagascar such as soccer balls, pencils, books, bags, ect. Leti also worked for a program similar to Big Brother-Big Sister, where she worked to get mentors for girls.

Leti has been doing non-profit work and work to help others most of her life. She has made many positive impacts on the communities and people with whom she's worked. Leti had so much hope and compassion when speaking about her organization’s goal to help children receive education in Madagascar. Her story is interesting and inspiring for others to go out and help others who are less fortunate them.