The best of times: Puente staffers reflect on 15 years

Puente marks a major milestone this year: its 15th anniversary. Since 1998, Puente has grown several times over. But it has stayed true to its roots: fostering prosperity, health and social justice for more than 1,500 – more than a third of South Coast residents each year.

Many staff members remember a time when Puente existed solely to provide farm workers with food, warm clothes bicycles and bedding. Another organization in town, North Street Community Resource Center, was there to address health care and childcare needs for women and children. The two groups merged on April 1, 2007.

Longtime staffers Kerry Lobel

Joann Watkins

Rita Mancera 

and Lorena Vargas de Mendez 

reminisce about what brought them to Puente and what makes their jobs so satisfying. Click each name to read their stories.


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