Raul Santoyo passed away on February 7, 2013, surrounded by his wife of 47 years and their two children, Veronica Gabriela and Raul Alejandro. Raul was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, son of Gabriela Gamio and Raul Santoyo Galvan. He studied in the Colegio Mexico and then spent six years in the seminary of the Padres del Espiritu Santo following the sudden death of his father when he was 10 years old. Thereafter he attended the Universidad Iberoamericana where he was the first generation of a new professional career named Ciencias y Tecnicas de la Informacion. After his graduation from the Ibero he worked as an account executive with Noble y Asociados, a well known advertising company in Mexico. In February,1966, he met Christine Camacho who was born and raised in New York City while she was visiting family in Mexico City. They were married in New York on April 16, 1966. As newly weds Raul and Christine lived in Mexico City for 18 months. In his search for a profession that would be more meaningful than advertising - coupled with a desire to follow in the footsteps of his maternal grandfather, Manuel Gamio, the father of anthropology in Mexico, the main body of his work being the complete study of the Indian society of Teotihuacan -, he applied and was accepted into the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. With their three week old daughter, Veronica, they embarked on a journey that would ultimately bring them to El Paso. In February, 1969, their son, Raul Alejandro, was born in Mishawaka, Indiana, and the following summer Raul arrived in El Paso to do his Master's thesis research on Conversion to Protestantism among Mexican Americans. Raul finished his Ph.D. in Sociology from Notre Dame and then returned to Mexico to work in various government ministries as a researcher and director of studies on social welfare. In 1985, disappointed in the slow pace with which improvement for the poor took place, he left his government job and began working for Covenant House, a New York based institution which cares for homeless children. He also began a small business - shoe store and then sandwich shop - in a locale in his house on the Plaza Washington. He gave away many pairs of shoes to the homeless and sandwiches to the hungry. In 1996, once again concerned about Mexico's economy and the pollution, he and Christine decided to move to El Paso. After 30 years of marriage they embarked on the adventure of starting over anew again. In El Paso, Raul began working as a Vista Volunteer with the Opportunity Center for the Homeless. From that position he became one of the OC's social workers and as a result literally fell in love with the plight of the homeless men and women he constantly tried to help. For five years he dedicated himself fully to his work with the homeless, and from his experiences he wrote a book of short stories entitled "I Love You, Baby?.I Love You" (Publish America, 2005). Eventually Raul moved on to do social work with alternative school children at the Cesar Chavez Middle School in the Ysleta district. This project was coordinated by Communities in Schools (CIS). After six years there sadly he realized that he would have to give up his professional activities for health reasons (In 2001 he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.) Since 2010 Raul has written his memoirs: short stories about the events in his life that have given him both pleasure and pain. We, his wife and children, cannot find the right words to express to the world how much he has been the love of our lives?indeed the center of our lives. His restless and inquisitive nature has opened many doors for us, doors of experiences that have made us wiser to the world because of his very deep sensitivity, compassion and actions. We have loved him more than words can express - and always will. His deep spiritual faith, his love for God and Jesus, his humanity and generosity for all who have needed something more out of life, his intelligence, wisdom, professionalism and very, but very funny personality - oh, how he has made us laugh throughout life - these and many more things will we remember him by. Thank you, mi Amorcito, thank you Papi. We now begin the celebration of your life and we will continue to follow through on all you taught us! Funeral arrangements will be through San Jose Funeral Home in Central El Paso. A Mass will be celebrated for him at Sacred Heart Parish, 601 Oregon, at 9:00 AM on Friday, February 8, 2013.
Published in El Paso Times from February 7 to February 14, 2013