Jorge Muñoz

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Jorge Muñoz Zapata
Jorge Muñoz.png
Member of the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia
In office
21 September 2015 (2015-09-21) – 21 December 2015 (2015-12-21)
Constituency Colombian expatriates
Personal details
Born (1964-03-23) 23 March 1964 (age 53)
Palmira, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Nationality Colombian-American
Political party Independent Movement of Absolute Renovation
Parents Blanca Doris Zapata
Relatives
Luz Helena Muñoz Zapata (sister)

Justin Schipe (nephew)

Residence New York City, United States
Occupation School bus driver, philanthropist and politician.
Awards CNN Hero 2009
Presidential Citizens Medal 2010
Website http://jorge-munoz.com

Jorge Muñoz Zapata (born 23 March 1964) is a Colombian American philanthropist and politician. He is the founder of the non-profit An Angel in Queens Foundation, an organization that delivers free home-cooked meals in Queens, New York.[1] Back in 2009, he estimated having served more than 70,000 meals to hungry people since 2004.[2]

Jorge Muñoz receiving the Citizens Medal from Barack Obama.

Muñoz was awarded as one of the CNN Heroes in 2009 due to his philiantropic labour. On August 4, 2010, Muñoz was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Barack Obama, the second highest civilian honor in the United States.[3][4] Moreover, Muñoz was presented the Order of the Congress of Colombia in the Degree of Knight by the Senate of Colombia.[5]

Philanthropy[edit]

Muñoz has been called a real life angel due to his commitment to help others by daily cooking and offering free hot meals to hungry people in Queens, New York.[6] In 2004, Muñoz began his philanthropic labour, when he realized that large amounts of food were thrown away at some places. Initially, he collected food from local businesses and handed out meals to underprivileged people three nights a week. As time passed by, his mother and sister, and some friends, joined him in this endeavor, and then he could start to offer food on a daily basis.[2] Muñoz invests a large part of his salary to support his philanthropic activities,[6] and sometimes receives donations from third parties.[7]

In 2006, Muñoz directed his efforts into the creation of the An Angel in Queens Foundation, a non-profit institution that targets the problem of hunger in the less privileged in the city of New York.[8]

Recognition[edit]

Muñoz himself acknowledges that his altruistic activities became of public knowledge after his story was published by the New York Times.[9] Afterwards, the exposure of his philanthropic work allowed him to be one of the recipients of the CNN heroes tribute, as he classified in the Top 10 heroes of 2009.[10] Later on, in 2010, people in the United States nominated him, along with other 6000 nominees, to be the recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal. He was awarded one of the 13 medals.[3][11] In 2012, Muñoz was presented the Order of the Congress of Colombia in the Degree of Knight by the Senate of Colombia, as a recognition of his philanthropic efforts to help the Latin immigrants of New York City.[5][12] In the same year, Muñoz was acknowledged as one of the 100 most outstanding Colombian expatriates by Marca Colombia and Fusionarte, during a ceremony held at the Casa de Nariño, in company of the President Juan Manuel Santos.[13][14] Muñoz has received, among other acknowledgments and distinctions, the distinction for being an exemplary human being due to his outstanding moral values[15] by the Assembly of the Valle del Cauca Department, and the decoration for his humanitarian labour in the United States and the bestowing with the Freedom of the city[16] by the Mayorship and the City Council of Manizales.[17]

Political career[edit]

Jorge Muñoz was candidate of the Independent Movement of Absolute Renovation to the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia in 2010, when he ran for Representative of the Colombian expatriates. He obtained second place in the elections thanks to 8.197 votes.[18] Muñoz was once again running for Representative of the Colombian expatriates for the 2014 Colombian parliamentary election, but that time he was the leader of the list of candidates of the MIRA movement to the Chamber of representatives for the Colombian expatriates constituency.[19][20]

Jorge Muñoz was appointed temporary Congressman from September to December 2015 in replacement of Congresswoman Ana Paola Agudelo García.[21][22]

Personal life[edit]

Muñoz was born in Colombia to a humble family. When he was a in his late teens, his father died in an accident and due to a difficult economic situation, his mother traveled to New York in search for a better future.[23] Muñoz followed his mother, moving to New York to find work to support the family, obtaining legal residency in 1987, and later becoming a citizen, along with his mother and sister. Muñoz works as a school bus driver.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ellick, Adam B. (2007-11-27). "The Chicken and Rice Man". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b c CNN (2009-03-20). "CNN Heroes: Jorge Muñoz". Retrieved 2009-11-25. [ CNN Heroes]
  3. ^ a b The White House - Office of the Press Secretary (4 August 2010). "President Obama Honors Winners of the 2010 Citizens Medal". Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  4. ^ El Espectador Newspaper (4 August 2010). "Condecoran en EE.UU. al colombiano Jorge Muñoz" (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Claudia Fino, Congreso de la República de Colombia - Senado de la República (5 June 2012). "Senado condecoró al 'Ángel de Queens' por su altruista labor en favor de los inmigrantes" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Toan Lam (July 30, 2009). "An Angel In Queens, New York: School Bus Driver Responsible For 70,000 Hot Meals And Counting...(Video)". Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  7. ^ Elizabeth Llorente-AARP VIVA (October 2009). "The work of angels". Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  8. ^ An Angel in Queens Foundation (2014). "About us". Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Luis Ángel Murcia - Semana Magazine (11 August 2010). "Un ángel pereirano" (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Gustavo Tatis Guerra - El Universal Newspaper (5 September 2010). "Jorge Muñoz, El Ángel de Queens" (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Lorena - Somos Colombianos (24 May 2013). "Jorge Muñoz. El ángel de Queens "Héroe Colombiano"" (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  12. ^ La Tarde Newspaper (7 June 2012). "Condecoran al 'Ángel de Queens'" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Fusionarte (December 2012). "100 Colombianos (1a Edición)" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  14. ^ La Tarde Newspaper (8 December 2012). "Siete pereiranos, entre los 100 colombianos más destacados" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  15. ^ Gobernación del Valle del Cauca (9 August 2010). "En emotivo acto ASAMBLEA DEPARTAMENTAL reconoció labor del `Héroe´ y `Ángel de Qeens´ JORGE MUÑOZ Homenaje al hombre que alimenta a los necesitados en Estados Unidos." (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  16. ^ Eje 21 Magazine (26 August 2010). "Alcaldía y Concejo condecoran a Jorge Muñoz "Un ángel en Queens"" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  17. ^ La Patria Newspaper (4 September 2010). "Arranca a diario unas 170 sonrisas" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  18. ^ Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil (14 April 2010). "ACTA DE ESCRUTINIO DE LOS VOTOS PARA LA CÁMARA" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  19. ^ Independent Movement of Absolute Renovation (18 January 2011). "MIRA le madruga a las elecciones del 2014" (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  20. ^ Independent Movement of Absolute Renovation (January 2014). "Candidatos a la Cámara por los colombianos en el exterior" (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Congreso Visible (20 November 2015). "Representante a la Cámara Jorge Muñoz Zapata" (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  22. ^ Chamber of Representatives of Colombia (2015-09-28). Posesión Jorge Muñoz en la Cámara de Representantes del Congreso de Colombia (Youtube website) (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia: Jorge Muñoz Youtube channel. 
  23. ^ Mind blowing facts (4 July 2013). "Jorge Munoz: An inspiration". Retrieved 6 February 2014. 

External links[edit]