A. Colleen DeGuzman

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Colleen DeGuzman is a staff writer for The Monitor, covering features and general assignments. She can be reached at (956) 683-4424 or cdeguzman@themonitor.com.

‘CATS’ at McPAC this weekend

PJ DiGaetano remembers trying to copy the choreography of “CATS” in his room when he was younger. Now 21, he is a performer for...

Local family finalists in national contest for helping feed homeless

Emily Aguirre was looking for ways to feed homeless people when she was just 6 years old. Now 11, Emily remembers the questions she asked her father, Rick Aguirre, when she spotted someone living on the streets while they were driving around McAllen: “Where does he sleep? Where does he eat? Where is his mom, where is his dad?” It was cold and drizzling outside at the time, and she worried about how that person would stay warm. So, the father and daughter returned with tamales and a cup of coffee for the homeless man — a deed they have continued to do since that day in 2015 for countless others in the Rio Grande Valley. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

‘Love Your ChaChas’ 5K gathers support for breast cancer awareness

The color pink has a special meaning to JoAnne Peña, who founded the breast cancer awareness walk and run, Love Your ChaChas, 10 years...

Religious groups gather to support women’s right to choose

Faith leaders from as far as Arizona gathered at the Whole Woman’s Health clinic in McAllen on Wednesday morning to clarify and demonstrate their support for a woman’s right to choose. The group of clinic employees and representatives of Just Texas, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) and Catholics of Choice took part in a private blessing of the facility that provides abortions. They walked from room to room, blessing the building, and then went outside for a series of speeches. At the back parking lot of the clinic, while speakers took the podium, purple-clad participants held posters that asserted their support: “God bless safe abortion access,” “Mi cuerpo, mi vida (My body, my life)” and “Pro-choice is pro-life.” Read more at the monitor.com.

Rock of refuge: From a single stone to a pillar of faith, free restaurant...

EDINBURG — Prophecy became reality for Jerry Joule on Sept. 18 when the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Baptist Student Ministry organization opened...

The Pumpkin Patch: The Upper Rio Grande Valley’s scene for fall fun

Even though temperatures are still reaching above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the Rio Grande Valley is gearing up for fall with pumpkin patches across the...

Fiesta de Palmas celebrates region’s cultures

The walkways of the McAllen Convention Center were adorned in many red Asian lanterns, while hanging above were lines of colorful papel picado banners on Saturday. Here, locals of all ages and nationalities celebrated the diversity of the Rio Grande Valley at the 14th annual Fiesta De Palmas event, hosted by the City of McAllen. Four large banners hung across the area, showing attendees what region of the world they were about to step into — Asia, the Middle East, Latin America or Europe. Attendees were able to take photos with lotertia posters which were scattered across the area, or the giant and shimmering Chinese dragon that stood next to the fountain. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Two-day Fiesta de Palmas to celebrate Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East

The McAllen Convention Center will be divided into four sections this weekend: Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. These four regions are the theme of the 14th annual Fiesta De Palmas celebration, which was formerly known as PalmFest. Presented by the City of McAllen and The Mexican Consulate, festivities of the highly anticipated event will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Convention Center, located on 700 Convention Center Blvd. Featuring entertainment from around the world, the mission of Fiesta De Palmas is to celebrate the diversity of Rio Grande Valley and educate attendees about what makes each of the four cultures unique. Admission fee is $5, and free for anyone under 12 years old. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Thanks-a-lot: Edinburg Girl Scouts show gratitude to first responders

EDINBURG — Girl Scouts and Edinburg first responders walked side-by-side in silence Wednesday afternoon. Making sure to step over puddles of rain, the group...

IMAS marks Grandparents Day with fun-filled activities

McALLEN — When asked how much he loves his grandmother, 5-year-old Seth Redding, with excitement, held up 10 fingers. He then reached out to...