MCALLEN, RGV – Comedian, actress, writer and producer Cristela Alonzo, a Rio Grande Valley native, is to perform a show in McAllen on Friday to help DACA recipients who cannot pay their renewals.

The event at the McAllen Performing Arts Center will also benefit refugees stuck at the border and La Unión del Pueblo Entero, the community group that assists immigrants and low-income families in the Valley. Alonzo is on LUPE’s board of directors.

Alonzo, who was born in San Juan, Texas, is the first Latina woman to create, produce, write, and star in her own U.S. primetime comedy. She had her own sitcom on ABC called Cristela.

“It’s been a rough time for my Latino community, namely my Mexican family,” Alonzo said on Twitter, announcing the upcoming show.

“I come from the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas. A lot of us grew up and still live in poverty and I want to help.”

Alonzo said she would be “donating the money from the show to LUPE to help support DACA recipients that can’t pay renewals and also help with refugees stuck at the border and the LUPE Christmas toy drive.”

She added: “This is my thank you to the home that gave my family a chance at life.”

Aonzo’s early life of poverty is described on Wikipedia. It states:

“Alonzo was born in San Juan, Texas, the youngest of four children of mother Natalia Gonzalez, who worked double shifts at a Mexican restaurant for about 20 years, and father Adalberto Alonzo, both of whom were from Mexico.

“When Alonzo’s mother was pregnant with Alonzo, Alonzo’s mother left her abusive husband and raised the children alone. Alonzo has said that she never met her father, who died in 2009. Alonzo grew up in San Juan, Texas.

“She has three siblings, older sister Julisa Maria Alonzo and older brothers Eloy Eduardo Alonzo and Ruben G Alonzo. Alonzo’s mother came from the small village of El Zancarron in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Throughout her childhood, on her mother’s weekly day off, Alonzo spent time with her paternal grandmother in Reynosa, Mexico, just across the border.

“For the first eight years of Alonzo’s life, the family squatted in an abandoned diner, and were homeless and destitute, even with her mother working double shifts as a waitress. She often went hungry, and had problems with skin pigment due to a lack of nutrition.

“Alonzo said her mother often used humor to offset the abject poverty. Alonzo learned English from watching TV as her family spoke only Spanish at home; her mother never learned to speak English. Television was a way for the family to stay inside, avoiding the violence from drug trafficking in their neighborhood. Alonzo would translate American shows into Spanish and act them out for her mother. Alonzo and her mother were inseparable. Alonzo and her mother shared a bed until Alonzo turned 18.”

For tickets for Alonzo’s McAllen show go to:

For those who want to donate to @LUPE_rgv’s Christmas Toy Drive, go to:

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above story shows Cristela Alonzo at the LA Premiere of “Cars 3” in Anaheim, Calif., on June 10, 2017. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)