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Maria Bueso, Member, Siempre Colombia Foundation – QNS.com

Maria Bueso, Member, Siempre Colombia Foundation

Maria Bueso

Member, Siempre Colombia Foundation

Astoria

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Bueso is a founding member of the non-profit organization called Siempre Colombia that helps to fund and maintain 12 organizations in Colombia and two in Ecuador that offer free orthopedic help. Locally they collect wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, diapers, bed linens, and medicine, and then send to the organizations that distribute these for free. Bueso also volunteers with women in the maternity program at Elmhurst Hospital. “I would like to do more but I don’t have enough time,” said the busy retiree.

PERSONAL: Bueso, 69, a native of Colombia, is a widower. She has four grown children, 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

JOB: When Bueso arrived in New York in 1962, she worked with a godfather who had a diamond company on 47th Street [in Manhattan]. She has also worked in the travel industry, as manager of a laundromat for 14 years. She and her family then moved to Texas where Bueso found work at the Houston Chronicle, but after one year returned to New York. She tried insurance and then retired.

PROUDEST MOMENT: “For me my family is first, even though my family sometimes says I dedicate to much time to outside things,” she said.

FAVORITE MEMORY: “I remember when at my parish [Most Precious Blood in Astoria] I was given a plaque of recognition that I did not expect. It was many, many years ago. It was in appreciation for how I have helped the parish.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “My greatest challenge is when I see people who are in need and I wish I could do more.”

INSPIRATION: “My parents were like this. My father helped others in Colombia and specifically, there is a hospital called San Rafael in Bogota where he donated and found others to donate to part of the construction of the hospital. And from my mother’s side, when she passed away, the entire area – all of the young people called her grandmother, “grandma, grandma.” She had a little bit of comfort – they weren’t rich – but she was the type of person that if she saw someone in need she would donate both cooked and unprepared food. It looks like I inherited that.”

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