Rio Grande Valley native Cristela Alonzo now has a key to the City of McAllen. Mayor Pro-Tem Veronica Whitacre surprised Alonzo with the key after a performance of her stand-up comedy show “My Affordable Care Act” in McAllen on Friday.
Before the show, Alonzo told Texas Public Radio’s Reynaldo Leaños Jr. that coming back to the Valley is always special, and she has made it a point throughout her career to always speak about her hometown.
“It’s important to talk about how this community,” Alonzo says. “Even if you don’t know each other, people will really come out and support you because that’s kind of how they were raised. When I left, when I moved away, I’m like, everybody needs to know about this place because it’s so special.”
A media release from the City of McAllen said the recognition came for Alonzo’s hard work on and off the screen, celebrating her groundbreaking accomplishments – being the first Latina to create, write and star in network sitcom, “Cristela”. The city also recognizes Alonzo as the first Latina to star as a lead in a Disney Pixar movie, “Cars 3,” in which she played Cruz Ramirez.
After receiving the Key to the city, Alonzo took to Twitter, thanking her late mother for all of her sacrifices saying “this is HER key”.
I think of the irony that my mom worked so much, she never got to see me on stage so that I could work on my dream of performing for OTHERS on stage. She sacrificed so much so that I could chase a dream she couldn’t understand.
I would’ve loved to had her here.
This is HER key. https://t.co/5nMIIlXMFd
— Cristela Alonzo (@cristela9) November 16, 2019
Cristela Alonzo spoke with Texas Standard’s Kristen Cabrera earlier this year about her mom, her career and her relationship with the Valley.
“I end up having to go to Texas to say goodbye to her and she got better and she said it was because I was there … like ‘no pressure but you saved my life,’” Alonzo says.