EL CENTRO, Calif. – Imperial Valley natives Ricardo Ruedas and his wife Alejandra have donated hundreds of handmade masks to essential personnel to help protect against the COVID-19 virus.
Ricardo, a Border Patrol agent out of El Centro Sector and his wife Alejandra, a nursing school graduate, who owns and operates an online cake business, combined their passion for helping others and their sewing skillset in order to make masks for the community during this pandemic crisis. “We have family and friends that work in the local hospitals and we coordinated with them to find out who was in need,” said Ricardo. “We felt the necessity to help those who help others. I learned to sew out of necessity when I was younger, and my wife just recently taught herself from online videos.”
The couple began by making masks for their immediate family and quickly realized they could continue constructing them to donate to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. Alejandra explained that their mission is to provide masks to essential personnel like nurses, doctors, pharmacies, local retail personnel and individuals that are at high risk. Their inspiration came from similar stories from across the nation and the generosity of the local community in lending them sewing equipment and donating fabric to the cause. The Ruedas family strongly believes that everyone has a responsibility in protecting the community from this pandemic.
“Agent Ruedas and his wife are doing a wonderful service for the first responders as well as the local communities here in the Imperial Valley,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino. “I commend them both for their selfless contribution in the fight against the spread of this dangerous virus.”
The mask are constructed using a three different layers of material including Halyard H600 two-ply spun polypropylene that cannot be penetrated by water, bacteria or particles. The couple have made and handed out over two hundred masks free of charge. The couple work on the masks on their off time. Ricardo helps after his long shift and Alejandra has put a hold on her online cake business to make the masks. They plan to continue to manufacture the mask for as long as they can.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.