Meet Gabriela! RASKC is profoundly pleased to honor Gabriela López Vazquez as an Outstanding New Volunteer. She does amazing work on our Kirkland Cat-Care Team, though there has been no volunteer work on this team during the pandemic. Gabriela has a master’s degree in logistics and international trade. A resident of Kirkland, she serves on the City of Kirkland’s Human Services Commission, tutored adults in Spanish at the Bellevue Library, and volunteers and works at community events as part of the King County Promotores Network.

“My husband I adopted Bella- a beautiful tuxedo cat (pictured)- on the same day I became a RASKC volunteer. On that day, Bella was the only cat in the room. When I sat down, she jumped into my lap. And the rest is history. Bella’s personality is very gentle and friendly. She likes to be on your lap and will give love very easily.  According to RASKC’s personality classification based on colors, she is a ‘green’ personality cat.

“I really enjoy working with cats and being a part of the chain that tries to pair them with that perfect family or person for each other. Hearing a cat purr or filling out the paperwork for an adoption makes my day. I like the teamwork and passion from other volunteers, the possibility to learn from others, and be part of my community.

“I recall a 14-year-old cat that had not been adopted, who had been with RASKC for a while. All of a sudden, a person came looking to adopt a cat and chose this one. The cat then seemed to realize that his adopter had actually been his owner. The cat had been lost for quite some time. The day they reunited and hugged each other was magical. The other volunteers and I were excited for such a happy ending.

“I have lived in Kirkland for six years. Since I arrived here, my career has taken a turn. I had worked in supply chain management in the chemical industry in Mexico for 23 plus years. Now I work on multiple projects to provide information and connect Spanish-speaking communities with services and resources, like working with the Latinx Health Board to help connect families affected by COVID with resources in King County. I look for opportunities to learn and become an active member of my community. I am happily married, and I enjoy the sun when we have it, comedy shows, walking in parks, and connecting with people.

“I was born, raised, and have lived most of my life in Mexico City. My neighborhood was in the east, in a small mountain hill, so it was like having both a little bit of countryside and the life of a big city. One of my favorite memories was participating in a school contest performing a play at the Teatro del Bosque, which was a very important theater in the city at that time.

“When I was a child, the adoption of pets did not really exist like it does today. Both my sister and I took cats home, and our parents supported our doing so. Most of the times we literally rescued cats from the street from people chasing them or because they were abandoned.   

“I am a proud Mexican woman. My roots are the mix of ancient native nations that inhabited what today is Mexico and European- mainly Spain that conquered that land. However, I don’t consider myself of a particular race. I honor my language, still follow some traditions, enjoy traditional Mexican cuisine, our legends, history, architecture, and the towns in Mexico. Most of all, I am proud of the hard-working people like my family and most families in Mexico.”

RASKC is enormously appreciative of all you do to make the world a better place, Gabriela!