It is a warm holiday night in Mendoza, Argentina. People come and go along Plaza Independencia, in the heart of downtown Mendoza. Families walk along the streets, probably going to have dinner somewhere, others heading home. Zonda wind blows hard on everyone’s faces. Passers-by cover their faces to avoid dust and dirt getting into their eyes and try to seek shelter. However, there is a group of people slowly gathering on benches on one side of the Plaza Independencia. They are not sheltering from the wind but rather exposing themselves to it. Timid they sit along one another waiting patiently.
9:30 p.m. Suddenly, like angels, a group of people carrying pots with food and jars filled with juice approach the people waiting for their meal. Among them is Alejandra Andia, a selfless and charismatic, 43-year-old woman, mother of two. She has left her family at home and has come to Plaza Independencia to offer her help. Alejandra, together with the volunteering organization she is part of, “Ayuda Urbana”, weekly provide these respectful and low-profile people with not only food and clothing but also with emotional support and love.
Alejandra works as a cashier in a supermarket in Godoy Cruz. Se has two daughters ages 12 and 14 and is happily married to her husband, Pablo. She is an ordinary person devoted to her family and her well-being. However, her heart is so big that she has enough love for two families; her own and “los chicos” of the Plaza Independencia. Alejandra