West’s Cinco de Mayo also a farewell

       The West Intergenerational Center will host a Cinco de Mayo party Friday, May 1 that will include a farewell to longtime city employee Carmen Vazquez-Guy, who is retiring.

Carmen Vazquez

       Also including Mexican food and a DJ playing Hispanic music, the event will be from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.
       Vazquez has been with the city for 30 years, chiefly working in its community centers -at the West Center since 2002.
       During her tenure, she has enjoyed working with various age groups, from small children up to seniors, she said. But she leaves with some concern about potential budget cutbacks in West programs for teen-agers, particularly the Friday Teen Nights at West during the school year. “There are so many teens on Friday who need something to do,” she said. “I hope they [the city] have the resources to keep it.”
       E.D. Rucker, executive director of the West Center, said he will miss Vaquez, whom he has known for more than 20 years. As far as he knows, he added, for the forseeable future the teen program will remain intact. But it's also true that Vazquez' position will not be filled (due to a current-year budget cut), leaving two principal West Center administrators (including Rucker) instead of three, he said.
       Vaquez does not plan to retire completely. After a vacation in Peru, hiking the Inca Trail, she expects to work part-time as a counselor and - using her English- Spanish bilingual skills - in providing medical translations.
       She is also a volunteer translator for the City Police Department, transcribing records in a program called the Español Service (ESP).

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