MediterraneanGrocery Wholesalers in El Paso, TX

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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in El Paso

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in El Paso, TX. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market – to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of El Paso’s leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you’re looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in El Paso. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it’s easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in El Paso, TX. We’re proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We’re here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That’s why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in El Paso,
what are we talking about?

Feta Cheese

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

Baklava

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in El Paso, TX, you won’t want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it’s no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It’s best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party – you’re almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

Shawarma

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason – this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in El Paso, TX.

Hummus

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That’s because it’s considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there’s one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you’re looking to make some positive changes in your life, this “diet” is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures’ foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke – especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery – we’re always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It’s refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn’t have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don’t start with meats and sweets.

4.

They’re tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you’re essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That’s great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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Latest News in El Paso

El Paso schools brace for more COVID-19 cases, increased absences

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Dozens of parents waited in a long line at the Don Haskins Recreation Center testing site Monday morning, waiting to get their children tested for COVID-19.“We’re here to do a test again,” said Fernando Delgadillo, with his two sons in the car. He said his sons, one in middle school, the other in high school, started feeling sick after they received a call from their schools saying they were exposed to the virus at school.“Every time that call comes in it’s nerve-wrack...

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Dozens of parents waited in a long line at the Don Haskins Recreation Center testing site Monday morning, waiting to get their children tested for COVID-19.

“We’re here to do a test again,” said Fernando Delgadillo, with his two sons in the car. He said his sons, one in middle school, the other in high school, started feeling sick after they received a call from their schools saying they were exposed to the virus at school.

“Every time that call comes in it’s nerve-wracking because we get told a student in their classroom has tested positive so now we got to test their symptoms and all that so we’re here to do a test again,” Delgadillo said.

An El Paso ISD spokesperson said the district is seeing a surge of illnesses.

“We’ve seen an increase in absences but we know that families have been impacted, employees impacted as well and we’re working with staff,” said Gustavo Reveles, spokesperson for EPISD.

According to EPISD’s COVID-19 dashboard, the district reports 974 active cases by Monday evening. The dashboard is updated every two hours. 293 staff cases were reported along with 681 students cases.

Ysleta ISD’s dashboard reports 634 cases, 491 of those are students.

At Socorro ISD, the dashboard reports over 700 cases combined between staff and students.

“We’ve seen an increase in staff out because of illnesses at this moment its nothing we can’t cover but we are keeping track,” Reveles said.

Jagdish Patel, a local pediatrician, told KTSM he’s seen a significant increase in children testing positive for COVID-19 in just the last week. He said most are in ages under five or those unvaccinated.

“The first thing you need to do is if you’re child is not vaccinated, get them vaccinated, there is a smaller line for vaccinations than a test,” Patel said.

He added, parents should keep children home from school if they are feeling sick, even if they haven’t tested for the virus.

“Don’t overwhelm the system,” said Patel. “If your child has not been exposed, and they’re unvaccinated, they don’t need to test, but if they are sick and have been exposed directly, chances are it’s COVID.”

Reveles said EPISD continues testing those students that are considered high-risk exposures when tests are available and urges parents to send children to school with a facemask.

“If your child is feeling sick please don’t send them to school,” said Reveles.

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Beloved El Paso Sports Writer Ray Sanchez Leaves Amazing Legacy

He was El Paso sports and loved by every person who ever met him. Ray Sanchez, who spent eight decades as a sports writer, columnist, and author, died today at the age of 94. The news came just two days after the passing of legendary football player Don Maynard. Many people took to social media and reacted after they heard the news.I have so many amazing memories of Ray Sanchez over the 27 years that I have worked in El Paso media. He was always kind to me from the very beginning of my career and he was a longtime colleague of mine wh...

He was El Paso sports and loved by every person who ever met him. Ray Sanchez, who spent eight decades as a sports writer, columnist, and author, died today at the age of 94. The news came just two days after the passing of legendary football player Don Maynard. Many people took to social media and reacted after they heard the news.

I have so many amazing memories of Ray Sanchez over the 27 years that I have worked in El Paso media. He was always kind to me from the very beginning of my career and he was a longtime colleague of mine when we worked together for the last 20 years at El Paso Inc. He was a frequent guest on SportsTalk when he would take call after call on the Dallas Cowboys and UTEP Miners. I grew very fond of Ray and always admired his devotion to his wife Helen of more than 75 years.

Ray loved Don Haskins, and the two collaborated on his first biography, "Haskins: The Bear Facts" as well as the story of the 1966 TWC team, "Basketball's Biggest Upset". In addition, he wrote five other books on a variety of sports topics, including horse racing, baseball, and the history of the UTEP Miners. His final book, "The Good, The Bad and The Funny of El Paso Sports History" was released in 2013. I met Ray at his media preview for the book's release and had the opportunity to interview him on the project.

A few years ago, I met up with Ray at UTEP's Kidd Field to discuss a profile on him for El Paso Inc. I pitched the idea to him a few months earlier, and we spent an hour in the bleachers talking about his career in sports journalism. It was fitting that after 70 years writing about sports, Ray Sanchez finally had a profile on his own life and career that was published in a newspaper.

I have a strong feeling that the legendary sports writer is swapping stories right now with The Bear and Tom Landry, two of his all time favorite people.

ICU beds in El Paso fill up as COVID-19 cases surge

El PASO, TEXAS (KFOX14) — Recent numbers from the Texas Department of State Health reveal COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in El Paso.On Monday, El Paso County recorded 504 people in the hospital with COVID-19 and only three ICU beds available.Of the 504 hospitalizations, 126 adult COVID-19 patients are in the ICU.Wanda Helgesen, the Executive Director of BorderRAC said whenever ICU beds dwindle to single-digit numbers it’s concerning.That’s something we’re very ...

El PASO, TEXAS (KFOX14) — Recent numbers from the Texas Department of State Health reveal COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in El Paso.

On Monday, El Paso County recorded 504 people in the hospital with COVID-19 and only three ICU beds available.

Of the 504 hospitalizations, 126 adult COVID-19 patients are in the ICU.

Wanda Helgesen, the Executive Director of BorderRAC said whenever ICU beds dwindle to single-digit numbers it’s concerning.

That’s something we’re very cautious about and really try to keep in touch with the hospitals about where we are,” said Helgesen. "It seems like we have been through this before, not once, not twice but we are now working on a third time coming through this. so this is very challenging to them.

Helgesen said not only is the increase in cases putting strain on medical staff but she said it's having a possible impact on patient wait times.

“Patients have to wait for a patient to be discharged to be moved to medical-surgical, or they may have to be discharged to be moved from ICU to medical-surgical,” Helgesen added.

Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare said it has the ability to convert beds in other areas of the hospital to provide ICU-level care when nearing capacity.

"Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare hospitals continue to see an increase in COVID-19 patients, similar to what other hospitals are seeing across the El Paso region and nationally. This increase causes our purpose-built intensive care units to reach capacity at certain times.On a regular basis, there is a continual flow of patients admitted to and discharged from the ICU. When nearing capacity, we have the ability to convert beds in other areas to accommodate ICU-level care. Our hospital leaders continue to monitor the situation closely, assessing and adjusting resources and support accordingly, so that we can best meet the needs of our community."

The University Medical Center of El Paso said while hospitals remain busy, the majority of its rooms are being used for non-COVID-19 cases.

"Since the height of the pandemic last year, UMC has implemented a robust and thoughtful contingency plan for surges and drops in patient populations, specifically related to COVID-19 inpatients. Our providers are utilizing the latest protocols of care for COVID-19 patients. We continue to see growth in the amount of patients who have not been vaccinated and now experiencing serious effects of the COVID-19 virus. Our capacity has and will continue to fluctuate daily. It is worth noting that Level 1 trauma hospitals such as ours, even before the pandemic, would see surges in demand for critical care beds/rooms due to a wide variety traumas presented at our Emergency Department. This would result in minimal available critical care beds and rooms.

Our hospital remains very busy yet not at the same levels of COVID-19 care experienced during the winter of 2020/2021. As of today, the majority of our rooms are being used for hundreds of non-COVID-19 cases. While staffing for critical care has historically been challenging for hospitals here and nationwide, we are managing our teams effectively and able to staff appropriately in step with current patient care needs. As we have done in the past, part of our contingency planning, if needed, allows us to convert some of our rooms to ICU level rooms, giving us maximum flexibility.

The pandemic continues to affect our community and it is important for all El Pasoans to continue to pursue completion of all COVID-19 vaccinations. We also encourage people to not delay getting care for non-COVID serious illnesses. We continue to see patients come to us after having delayed care during the pandemic, and this has resulted in more acute conditions of illness, such as cardiac care, neuro care, cancer screenings and more. "

The Hospitals of Providence said it's adding ICU beds to care for the influx of patients.

"ICU bed capacity changes on a daily basis – as patients get discharged or downgraded, new beds become available for patients requiring a higher level of care. With the steady rise in hospitalizations, additional ICU bed capacity has been added to care for the influx of patients and we continue to work to expand our resources so we can increase bed capacity. We commend our team for their steadfast commitment to care for those who need us most. We urge the community to take proactive measures to help reduce and slow the spread of COVID-19. "

Helgesen said that while many El Pasoans have heard this before, the best tool to keep numbers down in the community is to get vaccinated, continue to wear face masks, and social distance.

Do those things that are very simple and that might be old and might be boring at this point in time, but they really are important and it's something that every one of us can do to try to make a difference,” she said.

Helgesen said BorderRAC and the state have been able to provide extra staffing to the hospitals but says it's still not enough.

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2022 EP Locomotive schedule is set

EL PASO, TX — – El Paso Locomotive FC, alongside the USL Championship, unveiled its full 2022 Regular Season schedule today, presented by Locomotive’s Premier Corporate Partners. The full regular season calendar features 34 matches (17 home; 17 away) beginning on March 12 and concluding October 8. Locomotive will play 12 of its home games on Saturdays and five to be played on Wednesdays.All matches will be broadcast live on ESPN+ with the exception of any matches that will air on ESPN or ESPN2. The ESPN broadcast sch...

EL PASO, TX — – El Paso Locomotive FC, alongside the USL Championship, unveiled its full 2022 Regular Season schedule today, presented by Locomotive’s Premier Corporate Partners. The full regular season calendar features 34 matches (17 home; 17 away) beginning on March 12 and concluding October 8. Locomotive will play 12 of its home games on Saturdays and five to be played on Wednesdays.

All matches will be broadcast live on ESPN+ with the exception of any matches that will air on ESPN or ESPN2. The ESPN broadcast schedule and times for home and away matches will be announced in the coming weeks.

El Paso Locomotive is set to play each team in the Western Conference twice on a home-and-away format with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC being the lone exception, which Locomotive will play three times (twice at home; once away). The remaining nine matches will be played against inter-conference opponents including two-time USL Championship title-winners Louisville City FC, 2021 USL Championship Finalist Tampa Bay Rowdies, and expansion side Detroit City FC.

El Paso Locomotive FC is scheduled to kick off its 2022 USL Championship on the road against Sacramento Republic SC on March 12 before hosting New Mexico United at Southwest University Park on March 19. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. MT.

Highlighting the Locomotive schedule are many first time matches for the club, including hosting Louisville City FC, New York Red Bulls II, Hartford Athletic, Monterey Bay, and San Diego Loyal SC at Southwest University Park. Meanwhile, Locomotive will travel to Tampa Bay Rowdies, Detroit City FC, Atlanta United II, and Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The variety of high-quality matches throughout the USL Championship season provides exciting fresh new contests for El Paso Locomotive FC as the club seeks a fourth consecutive playoff berth.

Also highlighting the 2022 USL Championship regular season schedule is El Paso’s Copa Tejas title defense. This season’s USL Copa Tejas will consist of four matches – two against Rio Grande Valley FC and two against San Antonio FC – beginning on the road against San Antonio on April 16 and concluding on September 7 at home against Rio Grande Valley. El Paso will simultaneously defend the Copa Tejas Supporter’s Shield against SAFC and RGV as well as three teams in Major League Soccer (FC Dallas, Austin FC, and Houston Dynamo) and one team in the National Women’s Soccer League (Houston Dash).

El Pao Locomotive will conclude its 2022 regular season at Southwest University Park in early October, when it plays host to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on October 5 and Orange County SC on October 8.

Fans can become eligible for priority purchasing for individual match tickets by signing up for the Locomotive ticket waiting list at eplocomotivefc.com/individualtickets. Individual match tickets will be made available at a later date. Fans can also lock in their seat for all 17 Locomotive home games at Southwest University Park by becoming a Season Ticket Member at epolocomotivefc.com/seasontickets or by calling or texting 915-235-GOAL.

The full 2022 El Paso Locomotive FC Regular Season Schedule, presented by Premier Corporate Partners Southwest University, Estrella Jalisco, GECU, Helen of Troy, The Hospitals of Providence, and Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, can be found below:

A – Sat., March 12 – Sacramento Republic FC

H – Sat., March 19 – New Mexico United

H – Wed., March 23 – Las Vegas Lights FC

A – Sun., April 3 – San Diego Loyal SC

H – Sat., April 9 – Monterey Bay FC

A – Sat., April 16 – San Antonio FC

H – Sat., April 23 – Oakland Roots SC

A – Sat., April 30 – Loudoun United FC

H – Wed., May 4 – FC Tulsa

H – Sat., May 7 – LA Galaxy II

A – Sat., May 14 – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

H – Wed., May 18 – Sacramento Republic FC

A – Sat., May 21 – Orange County SC

A – Fri., May 27 – Las Vegas Lights FC

H – Sat., June 4 – Hartford Athletic

A – Sat., June 11 – Phoenix Rising FC

A – Sat., June 18 – Detroit City FC

H – Sat., June 25 – New York Red Bulls II

A – Wed., June 29 – Rio Grande Valley FC

A – Sat., July 2 – Atlanta United II

H – Sat., July 9 – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

A – Sat., July 16 – Oakland Roots SC

H – Sat., July 23 – San Antonio FC

H – Sat., July 30 – Louisville City FC

A – Sat., August 6 – Monterey Bay FC

A – Fri., August 12 – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

H – Sat., August 20 – San Diego Loyal SC

H – Sat., August 27 – Phoenix Rising FC

A – Fri., September 2 – New Mexico United

H – Wed., September 7 – Rio Grande Valley FC

A – Sun., September 18 – LA Galaxy II

A – Wed., September 28 – Tampa Bay Rowdies

H – Wed., October 5 – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

H – Sat., October 8 – Orange County SC

Schedule Breakdown:

Number of Games by Month:

March (3), April (5), May (6), June (5), July (5), August (4), September (4), October (2)

Home Games by Month:

March (2), April (2), May (3), June (2), July (3), August (2), September (1), October (2)

Away Games by Month:

March (1), April (3), May (3), June (3), July (2), August (2), September (3)

Home Games by Day:

Wednesday (5), Saturday (12)

Away Games by Day:

Sunday (2), Wednesday (2), Friday (3), Saturday (10)

Seventy-Six Hunt School of Nursing Students Receive White Coats

School administrators cloaked 76 nursing students with their white coats at the Medical Sciences Building II on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso campus. The presentation of the white coats followed a keynote speech by Hunt School of Nursing Dean Stephanie Woods, Ph.D., R.N.The white coat ceremony is a rite of passage welcoming students into the challenging but rewarding health care field. The most important element of the ceremony is the oath students take to acknowledge and reaffirm their choice to serve patie...

School administrators cloaked 76 nursing students with their white coats at the Medical Sciences Building II on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso campus. The presentation of the white coats followed a keynote speech by Hunt School of Nursing Dean Stephanie Woods, Ph.D., R.N.

The white coat ceremony is a rite of passage welcoming students into the challenging but rewarding health care field. The most important element of the ceremony is the oath students take to acknowledge and reaffirm their choice to serve patients and deliver compassionate care.

TTUHSC El Paso is the only university in El Paso that holds a white coat ceremony for nursing students. The coats and stethoscopes students received were provided thanks to TTUHSC El Paso’s generous donors and alumni.

During the ceremony, school officials announced a $50,000 gift for nursing scholarships from the Aguilar Family Foundation, a donor-advised fund of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation. The gift was made possible by Richard and Corina Aguilar and their sons, Ricky and Abe. Recipients of the scholarship must be graduates of a high school in El Paso County, with preference for students who graduated from Bel Air High School and Jefferson High School, where Richard and Corina graduated from.

“I wanted to ensure my children were involved in helping us make decisions that give back to the community where we built our businesses and raised our family,” said Richard Aguilar, who had asked his children to share ideas on scholarships they wanted to support.

“Abe expressed he wanted to support nursing scholarships because he sees how much time and care nurses devote to their patients and families,” Richard Aguilar said.

Abe’s son, Santiago, now a healthy 9-year-old, was born with HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome). He endured three open-heart surgeries within his first few years of life. As a result, Abe and his family spent a great deal of time at a children’s hospital in California. They saw firsthand how dedicated nurses can make a big difference in a patient’s recovery and life.

The Aguilar family felt it was important now more than ever to do all they can to support our community’s future front-line heroes. With the Hunt School of Nursing’s 10-year anniversary, it was perfect timing to establish nursing scholarships that encourage and pave the way for local students to achieve their dreams of serving in health care.

The $50,000 gift will be matched by WestStar Bank’s matching scholarship fund, bringing the total to $100,000.

Jazmin Melendez, who graduated from Del Valle High School in El Paso and attended El Paso Community College, said she didn’t have to look far for inspiration to go into nursing.

“My mom’s a nurse and she inspired me just by seeing her interact with patients. It’s a relationship that’s more than just health care,” Melendez said as she proudly wore her white coat. “She was really happy and proud of me when I got in.”

Melendez, who’s enrolled in the school’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, thinks scholarships like the Aguilar Family Foundation Scholarship are a great way to help students.

“Scholarships like the Aguilar scholarship really help tremendously, especially for lower income students,” Melendez said. “When students have to worry about paying for school, it puts more stress on their shoulders – especially going into nursing school, which is already challenging and rigorous. It is a very meaningful and generous gift to have scholarships like this one available to students like myself. Thank you to the Aguilar family for doing this.”

The Aguilar Family Foundation has partnered with TTUHSC El Paso before, establishing a $50,000 Foster School of Medicine scholarship for local El Paso students during the medical school’s 10th anniversary two years ago.

The Aguilars are the owners of the Montecillo smart urban living community in West El Paso, as well as many other apartments, properties and the Hotel Paso Del Norte.

To date, the Hunt School of Nursing has graduated more than 1,000 students, with a vast majority of those graduates staying in the region. The school of nursing currently has partnerships with every hospital in the El Paso community, which includes both clinical rotation opportunities and job placements post-graduation. In addition, 87% of current students are El Paso natives.

When the Hunt School of Nursing seated its first class in 2011, El Paso County faced a 40% shortage of nurses compared to the national average. Today, as we celebrate 10 years of educating future trusted heroes, the shortage has been reduced to 20%.

The Hunt School of Nursing has contributed greatly to the number of practicing registered nurses in the region. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has produced new shortages. The school’s mission has always been focused on meeting the needs of this region, but in a time of pandemic, its efforts are even more critical.

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