Las Americas was started by Greg and Daisy Diaz in 2004. However, the vision to do this work was planted in Greg’s heart many years earlier in a completely different city. When Pastory Diaz came to the U.S., he was just 12 years old. His mother flew him into Houston from Mexico City on Friday night and he was in class at Memorial High School by the following Wednesday morning. There he found himself in the same situation many latino youth encounter in Memphis today. Very few people spoke the language he was most comfortable speaking and very few understood how confusing, difficult, heartbreaking, and hopeless he felt every day. Just imagine going to class at your school, listening intently to the teacher, eagerly working on your assignments at home, then turning them in only to receive a failing grade from an irritated teacher asking why you didn’t follow directions. That was the reality Greg Diaz faced then and so many students face now in Memphis.
At that early age, in the midst of the pain and suffering of trying to be successful at school, he made a promise to God. If he was ever given the opportunity he would help kids and youth that were in those same shoes.
Today at Las Americas Greg, Daisy and the rest of their team serve 300 of them a day…many of them who have experience the same feelings I did when he did at just 12 years old.