Chairman’s Message

2021 was supposed to be better, wasn’t it?

As we wrapped up one of the most difficult years in modern history, many of us looked toward the New Year with a certain level of hope and expectation. Nothing could be as bad as 2020, right? The year we first heard the word “COVID-19,” the year many of us lost jobs and loved ones, the year we started wearing masks and keeping a distance from those we longed to hug. With vaccine news on the horizon, we thought that 2021 would see us turn that long awaited corner.

Instead, Laredo found itself the worst city in the country for both the number of COVID-19 cases per capita and the number of rising COVID-19 cases per capita. Things were getting very scary. And just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, in swept Winter Storm Uri.

At first, in many of our South and Central Texas cities, it seemed like a welcome reprieve from the despair and drudgery COVID has brought. Freezing temperatures, a blanket of snow (maybe not in Laredo), kids building snowmen and adults throwing snowballs, some much needed joy in a season of sadness. And then came the power outages. Houses going dark and cold. Water stopping.

There is no doubt: Texas has taken a beating. But Texans are nothing if not strong. Resilient. Courageous. Ready and willing to help our neighbors. Families with power have opened their homes to those without. Strangers have given out food and water to those in need. And as always, healthcare workers and emergency responders have been working around the clock in these dual crises.

Finally, after a long week, we are literally seeing the light as power and water are being restored to homes. Vaccine distribution has kicked up to 1.7 million doses per day in the U.S., and that number is expected to double by the end of March. We’re all feeling a bit battered and bruised, but that hopeful future we looked forward to at the end of 2020 is almost here. In the meantime, I pray that we continue to help each other get through the hard times.

And as always, Falcon is here for you: guided by faith, grounded by family, and committed to you.

God bless you,

Adolfo E. Gutierrez