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Looking back at 2017

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At the turn of 2017

We started with a stronger effort to reach vulnerable Venezuelans. With solid partnerships, we began to work more closely with them and their communities. We set out to find the medicine and supplies our partners needed to take care of their patients.

A year later, our partnerships are even stronger. Along the way, we have inspired many others to join us — students, actresses, chefs, filmmakers, consultants, Venezuelans, Americans, etc. With their help, we’ve been able to continue supporting the work our partners are doing out on the field every day.

A year later, we’ve learned from many experiences (including several classes) and we’re ready to start 2018.

 

 

Our team

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Our team continues to grow and evolve

As we’re all volunteers, the team takes different shapes and sizes throughout the year. It’s an additional challenge. But it also means more and more people have joined the Saludos mission!

We also continue to expand our team outside of Houston. This year, we’ve worked with consultants from Los Angeles, filmmakers from Paris, students from Austin, and many others. There’s nothing quite so inspiring as seeing other people with no personal connection to Venezuela give so much.

We’re expecting 2018 to bring many more of those awesome people. Contact us if you want to be one of them!

 

 
 

Our supporters

Turns out, our fellow Houstonians have big hearts for Venezuelans. Throughout the year, different groups approached us eager and ready to help us. From organizing collection drives to serving as volunteers, their spirit and kindness helped us reach even more Venezuelans.

Notable Campaigns       Volunteers       Saludos in the Media

 
 

Notable Campaigns

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Church Communities

Two brothers, celebrating their First Communion, decided to donate all of their gifts to us instead. From the Woodlands, a church group held a breakfast to meet the Saludos team and gather funds and support. And Venezuelan Parroquia Virtual organized a special mass in support of Saludos, bringing medicine for us to send.

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Exatec Houston

The Exatec Houston community generously held a donation drive to collect needed medicine for children in Venezuela. Gracias!

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Texas Doctors

Doctors all over Texas donated many boxes of their extra supplies, including a group of doctors from Odessa as well as local Susana Porras and Fernando Boccalandro.

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Human Rights Club

(Bellaire High School)

 

Students from the Bellaire High School Human Rights Club not only helped us sort and pack supply boxes, but also started a fundraiser selling study books to donate to us.

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In Memoriam

We also have some extraordinary donors, whom we thank as well as their families for their donations. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

 

Volunteers

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Our amazing volunteers have been with us every step of the way. Whether creating our new supply database (with many many entries), sorting and packing our 121 supply boxes, or staffing one of our seventeen events, they are the true panas.

 

Saludos in the Media

 

General donors

And of course, a big gracias to our general donors who kept us going with their incredible generosity. With their help and more, we managed to raise over $25,000 for humanitarian aid in Venezuela!

Our work

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Big plans for 2017

Looking back, we accomplished even more than we could have imagined. Seventeen events, around 1000 guests, and medical aid to reach more than 3000 Venezuelans, we have only just begun.

Partner Profiles           Shipments           Events

 
 

Partner Profiles

SOS Somos Portuguesa

A grassroots nonprofit organization started in response to the Venezuelan crisis. Based in the rural state of Portuguesa, they take care of children in the many poor rural villages. On weekends, they carry out medical missions in these villages that would otherwise not have access to any medical treatment. We send them gloves, syringes, and medicine for kids. We also purchased a car suited for the roads to reach the hundreds of villages they serve.

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Hospital Ortopédico Infantil

A renowned orthopedic nonprofit hospital in Caracas, Venezuela. Started over sixty years ago, today they take care of thousands of patients from all over Venezuela. They perform orthopedic surgeries, odontologic operations, and other treatments. We send them surgical tools, skin dressings, and orthopedic supports for their operations.

 

Shipments by the Numbers

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Over the counter medicine for 2,571 people

We sent 2,571 containers of over the counter medicine to treat people.

These include analgesics, antihistamines, rehydration solutions, and vitamins.

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Prescription medicine for 501 people

We sent 501 containers of prescription medicine to treat people.

These include antibiotics, bronchodilators, and others.

Medical supplies for 697 people

 

We sent 697 containers of supplies to treat people.

These include syringes, gloves, masks, antiseptics, surgical blades, sutures, catheters, bandages, and tubes.

 

Events

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Concierto con Jorge Polanco

 

More than 200 guests attended our benefit concert by Jorge Polanco, featuring classic Venezuelan pieces. It was a great start to our most event-filled year yet.

Mother's Day Saludos Bazaar

More than 150 guests and 30 vendors from all over Houston gathered to support communities in Venezuela in honor of mothers. For our second bazaar, we had both many old and new faces!

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Te dejo la corona

Around 100 guests attended the night show Te dejo la corona by Venezuelan 4X4 Producciones. The actresses came all the way from Caracas, Venezuela to share their piece in benefit of our humanitarian efforts. Chef Omar Pereney, Bielina's Catering, and ClickEvents helped us organize and provide food for the events. Keep an eye out for this up and coming artist group.

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Encuentro con Dr. Himiob

A group of 40 guests attended the screening and discussion of The Embrace of the Serpent led by Dr. Gonzalo Himiob. The discussion followed cultural narratives in the film that are applicable to the situation in Venezuela today.

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Panafest

The Panafest was an open invitation to our volunteers and supporters to meet and get to know each other. Most of the time we’re working, so this was about growing closer as a team. Surprisingly, new members showed up and enjoyed it all the same!

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Encuentro con EDO

More than 30 guests attended the discussion with EDO on the culture and significance of the humor in his graphic work. Humor is an important aspect of Venezuelan culture, and EDO Ilustrado explained how his work plays with this.

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Houston for Venezuelans

More than 200 guests attended the cultural celebration of Venezuelan food, art, and music in collaboration with Literal Magazine and Patricia Gras to support humanitarian efforts in Venezuela. Thanks to the artists Grupo Tarraya and Shekere Latin Band, and the food vendor Gusto Gourmet for helping with this event.

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Venezuela Night with the Skeeters

We partnered with the Sugar Land Skeeters baseball team to invite others to enjoy both Venezuela’s and the USA’s favorite pastime on a Friday night. Not only that, we received 50% of the ticket sales for humanitarian aid in Venezuela!

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Encuentro con Maria Alejandra Ramos

Around 45 of our supporters came to meet and hear the story of Maria Alejandra Ramos, the founder of our primary partner SOS Somos Portuguesa. It was quite an inspiring experience to hear the stories firsthand of their work with children in Portuguesa.

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Houston Strong

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we teamed up with Covencargo and Literal Magazine to seek out donations for affected Houstonians. We managed to collect supplies that we sent to the families of Royal STEM Academy in Fulshear. Last year, they donated food and medicine to Saludos, so we took the opportunity to give back this time!

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Taking Up Venezuela

One of our biggest undertakings so far, we held six events across institutions in Texas to screen and discuss the documentary Women of the Venezuelan Chaos by Margarita Cadenas. Leslie and Brad Bucher generously hosted our official launch event in their amazing space. With this, we managed to reach more than 600 people with the story of Venezuela and Saludos.

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Holiday Saludos Bazaar

Our third Saludos Bazaar was our best yet! Over 300 guests came to browse 32 vendor tables, feast on 415 hallacas, and change the lives of Venezuelans. With the money raised, we sent 12 boxes of supplies and $500 worth of coloring books and crayons to the children of Portuguesa. Just in time for Christmas!

Looking ahead

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Nothing would have prepared us for the seventeen events we held in 2017. So many people reached out and came together for Venezuelans. We are working hard on our next set of activities, and we could not be more excited for you to join us in our mission to bring health to Venezuelans.

 

Friends of Saludos

We have a long list of awesome people that continue to lend us their hand on our mission. A very big gracias to them.

For help with Taking up Venezuela

University of Houston's Art Department

University of Houston staff: Rex Koontz, Beckham Dosset, Anadeli Bencomo, Karen Fang

University of Houston's Venezuelan Student Union

University of Texas at Austin's Venezuelan Student Union

The Kinkaid School

The Kinkaid School staff: Ryan Guillentine and Scott Lambert

World Affairs Council Houston

Rice University

Rice University staff: Fabiola Lopéz-Durán

Margarita De La Vega-Hurtado

Leslie and Brad Bucher

Margarita Cadenas

 

For help with Te dejo la corona

Producciones 4X4

Chef Omar Pereney 

Bielina’s Catering

Bielitski Prada

Click-Events

 

For help with the Concert for Venezuela

Jorge Polanco 4 Studio

 

The church groups that support us

The Woodlands' El Arte de Ser Mujer

Parroquia Virtual Venezolana

 

For our encuentro events

Dr. Gonzalo Himiob

Edo Ilustrado

Maria Alejandra Ramos

 

For help with Houston for Venezuelans

Revista Literal, Latin Voices

Rose Mary Salum 

Passion Time with Patricia Gras

Shekere Band

Grupo Tarraya

Gusto Gourmet

Leo Alvarez Photography

 

For help with other fundraising and drives

Jorge Orta y su grupo Cro-Cro

EXATEC Houston

The Sugar Land Skeeters

Comunidad de expatriados de España

Bellaire High School's Human Rights Club

Royal STEM Academy

 

for help with advice and consulting

Hogan Lowell’s

FreeRange Thinking

 

for help with our event venues and neighborhood community

Wadsworth Crews

Southside Living Magazine

City of Southside Place community

 

for making sure the medicine arrives to Venezuela

Covencargo