UNICEF Medical Teams Help Children in Unsettled Yemen

Carmen Maria Montiel

A former award-winning television journalist, Carmen María Montiel now engages in a wide range of philanthropic pursuits and holds advisory roles with various organizations. Carmen María Montiel currently holds a position on the board of directors for UNICEF.

UNICEF recently issued a press release to announce that diminishing health services in Yemen, caused by violence in the region, led UNICEF and its associates to increase delivery of vaccinations, nutrition screening, and additional life-saving medical treatments for millions of children impacted by the conflict. A UNICEF worker in Yemen explained that the organization’s staff and mobile teams have been working in extreme and life-threatening conditions to ensure that more children don’t perish from preventable diseases and malnutrition.

According to UNICEF, more than 16,000 children have received treatment for severe malnutrition and more than 40,000 children received polio and measles vaccinations since the conflict escalated in March 2015. The medical treatment has largely been completed by approximately 40 UNICEF-backed mobile health teams working to reach displaced populations throughout Yemen. In addition to vaccines and nutrition aid, the mobile health teams have served an estimated 10,000 pregnant women to ensure proper prenatal care and safe deliveries.


The Latino Learning Center’s Residential Electricity Education Program


After a successful career as a bilingual news anchor and producer, Carmen María Montiel currently contributes to organizations like Latino Learning Center in Houston. By leading various fundraising events, such as the 2015 Night with the Stars Gala, Carmen Maria Montiel helps support the Latino Learning Center’s programs.

The Latino Learning Center maintains a number of senior-assistance and educational programs, including the Residential Electricity Education Program. Through the 12-week training program, participants receive basic electrical training designed to help them enter the workforce in apprentice and entry-level positions. The vocational education program is delivered in a bilingual environment to accommodate students whose first language is Spanish while effectively preparing participants to meet a high demand for trained workers in the construction industry.

By emphasizing job-site safety, the Latino Learning Center’s Residential Electricity Education Program also helps prevent workplace accidents among residential construction workers. The program facilitates the educational process through interactive discussions, hands-on learning opportunities, and practical demonstrations.

Dedicated to delivering services to Houston residents from low-income communities, the organization’s Residential Electricity Education program addresses a lack of adult education services and creates a wide range of economic benefits. For example, the program improves the employability of formerly untrained workers, increases workers’ wage earning potential, and reduces the number of people in need of welfare support.

An Overview of the Haras Cup for Working Equitation


A former television journalist, Carmen María Montiel has a wide array of experience that includes covering the 1992 Republican National Convention and producing a syndicated show featuring Latin artists. Carmen María Montiel also attends a variety of charitable and social events, such as the Haras Cup gala.

One of the top working equitation championships in the United States, the Haras Cup offers $80,000 in prize money and competitions for all breeds as well as classes for a variety of age and experience levels. Held in Magnolia, Texas, the Haras Cup also features international class competitors by invitation only to some of the best riders in the world.

The Haras Cup serves as the annual championship competition for the Working Equitation International Association. A relatively recent equestrian activity, working equitation is judged by three components-dressage, ease of handling, and speed-with a focus on versatility and athleticism. Each of the components is judged on a separate day. The first day is dedicated to dressage, with divisions for children and youth, and a general division for novice, intermediate, advanced, and master riders. The second and third days focus on handling and speed, respectively, with different obstacle courses each day. Proceeds from the cup go to a number of charities, including the children’s nutrition organization Kids’ Meals, Inc., and the United States Pony Clubs, Inc.

About the Lusitano Horse – A Brief History

Although the Lusitano horse was not considered separate from the Andalusian breed until 1966, it possesses several distinctive features, including a lower tail, more sloping hindquarters, and a more significantly convex head. A light horse breed, the Lusitano weighs on average less than 1,500 pounds, with long legs and a short, muscular back, and the Lusitano is usually light grey in color. Modern Lusitano horses were bred to be used in Portuguese bull fights and established a reputation as intelligent horses especially adept at a variety of equestrian activities.

Some breed associations believe that the Lusitano has been used as a saddle horse for more than 5,000 years, making it the world’s oldest saddle horse. Due to the breed’s intelligence and size, it was commonly used by nobility and crusaders and helped pioneer the art of dressage.

About the author:

Carmen Maria Montiel

An award-winning television journalist, Carmen María Montiel has served as the news anchor for both English- and Spanish-speaking broadcasts. Additionally, Carmen María Montiel frequently chairs galas and fashion shows, and she attended the Haras Cup when it presented its first competition of Lusitano horses.


Paella at Bielina’s

After winning the Miss Venezuela and Miss South America pageants, Carmen Maria Montiel was named second runner-up at the 1984 Miss Universe Pageant. When she returned home, she resumed her budding television career and continued her education. She soon returned to the US to study broadcasting and Spanish at East Tennessee State University, graduating magna cum laude. She embarked upon an award-winning broadcasting career in Texas, where she was an award-winning journalist for Telemundo Houston. Carmen Maria Montiel is an enthusiastic member of Houston’s Venezuelan community, and recently emceed a celebration of the fifth anniversary of Bielina’s Catering.

Located in the Houston suburb of Katy, Bielina’s Catering and Services provides catering services to clients throughout the entire Houston-Sugar Land-Woodlands area. Run by Venezuelan natives Frank Valbuena and Bielitski Prada, Bielina’s caters events at clients’ sites as well as at its own banquet facility. The company provides not only Venezuelan food, but also many fusion, international, and artisanal dishes.

One of Bielina’s specialties is paella, prepared presentation-style at guest tables by Chef Prada. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish whose main ingredient is a delicious saffron rice which is then mixed with a variety of additional ingredients. In addition to a traditional seafood paella featuring lobster, clams, mussels, shrimps, scallops, and squid, Bielina’s serves several other varieties, including the house specialty Paella Prada and a vegetarian paella that features several different peppers, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, peas, and other vegetables. Other paellas on the menu are green paella, which features chicken, pork, Spanish chorizo, clams, and vegetables, and Paella Valenciana, which combines seafood with chicken, Spanish chorizo, and vegetables.

Virtuosi of Houston

Carmen Maria Montiel head shot


Carmen Maria Montiel earned praise from her peers and industry awards for her work as a journalist for the Spanish-language television station Telemundo Houston. Before becoming a professional journalist, she won the Miss Venezuela and Miss South America titles in 1984 and was second runner-up in that year’s Miss Universe Pageant. Carmen Maria Montiel donates a great deal of her time and expertise to a broad range of cultural and philanthropic activities, including the Miss Houston pageant, UNICEF, and Virtuosi of Houston.

A premier young artists chamber orchestra, Virtuosi of Houston was established in 1996 to expand the opportunities for gifted musicians in the 11- to 18-year-old age range to receive professional-level training and participate in meaningful public performances. At the same time, it significantly expanded the repertoire of chamber music available to Houston audiences.

Because Virtuosi of Houston is a chamber orchestra of 50 to 60 musicians (significantly smaller than a symphony orchestra or high school band), its members have the opportunity for more focused instruction and training. The smaller orchestra size also helps the musicians build confidence and leadership, as well as performance skills that might not develop so well in a larger orchestra.

The orchestra performs publicly three times during the season. During the five weeks prior to each concert, there are 10 rehearsals. At each rehearsal, one of the orchestra’s two maestros conducts the music, while the other works with individual musicians, helping them to perfect their technique on the various instruments they play.

Auditions for Virtuosi of Houston are held in the spring and fall of each year. More information about how to become a member, as well as more information about Virtuosi of Houston, is available on its website at http://www.virtuosiofhouston.org.