Who we are:

The Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition has worked to enhance the quality of life of youth and adults living in the Paso del Norte Region since 2000. Our goal is to reduce underage alcohol and substance abuse by raising awareness and promoting safety and healthy living.

The Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition (RGSCC) is funded through a Community Coalition Prevention (CCP) through the Texas Department of State Health Services, and is managed and coordinated by UMC’s Level I Trauma Center in order to link local agencies and organizations with local community needs. RGSCC organizes a local coalition composed of community members representing a minimum of 12 sectors (youth, parents, businesses, media, schools, youth serving organizations, law enforcement agencies, religious or fraternal organizations, civic and volunteer groups, healthcare professionals, state, local or government agencies with expertise in the field of substance abuse, and other organizations involved in reducing substance abuse). Our strategic plan has been developed utilizing environmental strategies identified by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Paso del Norte Regional Strategic Health Framework, and the City of El Paso’s comprehensive master plan (Plan El Paso), we are working to promote community level protective factors to limit youth accessibility and advocate to enforce existing laws. Through its members, staff and volunteers, the coalition provides presentations on alcohol and substance abuse prevention and implements environmental strategies to reduce the use of alcohol and drugs within the city of El Paso.

Our Partners:

Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition is proud to partner with state-funded prevention and intervention providers, community-based organizations, local law enforcement agencies, healthcare organizations, government agencies, faith-based communities, youth and youth-serving groups, schools and businesses entrepreneurs and parents and youth volunteers.

    • Aliviane
    • Alternatives Centre for Behavioral Health
    • Amerigroup
    • Cancer and Chronic Disease
    • Center Against Family Violence
    • Central El Paso Community Organization
    • Child Crisis Center
    • Child Protective Services
    • Clear Channel Radio
    • Communities in Schools
    • Drug Enforcement Administration
    • Downtown Management District
    • El Paso Human Services Department
    • El Paso Juvenile Court
    • El Paso Behavioral Health Services
    • El Paso First
    • El Paso Police Department
    • El Paso Sheriff’s Department
    • Jefferson High School
    • JS Research and Evaluation
    • Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD
    • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    • New Mexico Office of Border Health
    • Outreach, Screening, Assessment and Referral (OSAR) Program
    • Parkland Middle School
    • Paso del Norte Health Foundation
    • Project Amistad
    • Project Vida
    • Region 19 Migrant- Homeless programs
    • Sarabia’s Portable Jons
    • Silva Magnet School
    • STAR Outreach
    • Superior Health Plan
    • TDSHS-Texas Department of State Health Services- Office of Border Health
    • Texas Department of Transportation
    • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
    • University of Phoenix
    • University of Texas at El Paso – Police Department, Upward Bound Program- High School Equivalency Program
    • Volunteers
    • West Texas High Intensity Drug and Trafficking area
    • YMCA
    • Ysleta del Sur Pueblo
Community Initiatives and Events
Community Outreach:

RGSCC works with community leaders, organizations and local law enforcement to plan and host year-round substance abuse prevention events in order to educate the community about the dangers of alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription drug abuse. Members of RGSCC are encouraged to be advocates against substance abuse and to promote healthy lifestyle choices.

Media Campaigns:

The Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition develops and implements media campaigns and prevention interventions designed to address social norms regarding underage alcohol consumption. Prevention efforts are designed for youth to build community awareness and encourage a culture of alcohol and drug-free living. Youth from within our community lead the campaigns that support the mission of the Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition by developing environmental change strategies to reduce and report underage drinking and the consequences that come with it. Youth C.A.R.E advocates create public service announcements and help deliver messaging through billboards, radio and social media, in order to increase positive message perceptions among their peers, parents and community members.

Youth Component:

The Youth C.A.R.E. (Communities Against Reckless Endangerment) Coalition helps youth use their creativity to develop and implement campus and community prevention campaigns in their schools and neighborhoods in order to reduce and prevent the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs among their peers. Through this process, participants learn about leadership, public speaking and civic engagement.

Dare 2 Care is an initiative under the Party Safe El Paso Campaign that partners with the Youth C.A.R.E. Coalition and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). Stickers, posters and other marketing materials are placed city-wide in convenience stores and on alcohol packaging reminding residents to “Party Safe El Paso-Don’t Take Part in Underage Drinking”.

Rally on the River:

Rally on the River began in 2004 and is held annually in June in recognition of “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.” In a picnic-like atmosphere, substance abuse prevention activities, youth entertainment and a car show have made this event a success every year. This event brings community awareness about the dangers of drug use and abuse.

Red Ribbon Rally:

Every year in October, drug prevention advocates across the country take a stand against drug abuse by celebrating Red Ribbon Week. For our RGSCC, the National RED RIBBON campaign provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse and to encourage youth to lead a drug-free lifestyle. We hold an annual event in collaboration with other community partners and attend and participate in other Red Ribbon community events throughout the month of October.

Policy Work:

RGSCC, in collaboration with Texans Standing Tall - Statewide Coalition, has coordinated town hall meetings and forums centered on the concepts of a local level policy action to prevent social hosting issues - a strategy which holds adults accountable for making alcohol accessible to youth. Policy forums have also been conducted to educate and mobilize our regional partners regarding excise taxes - an evidence-based prevention strategy, to reduce underage drinking.

Helpful Resources:

For Teens:
Above the Influence
Students against Destructive Decisions
Natural High
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

For Parents:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving- El Paso
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Texans Standing Tall - State Wide Coalition
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

For Teachers:
The Anti Drug
La Anti Droga
Texans Standing Tall - State Wide Coalition

Meet Our Team:

Dora Basurto- RGSCC-Prevention, Sarah Cortez- RGSCC- Prevention,
Virginia Saenz, LCDC- OSAR, Maria Garcia, LCDC- OSAR, Hilda Soto, LCDC- OSAR,
Blanca Landeros, LCDC- SBI/OSAR, Gaby Arenas- OSAR Office Coordinator,
Xochitl Gamboa- Manager, Trauma Grant Programs
Contact Us
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Program Director: Gloria Salazar, RN, MSN, MS, LPC
Manager of Trauma Grants: Xochiquetzalli Gamboa, MPH, CHES
CCP Program Coordinator: Dora Yanar Basurto, LBSW
CCP Program Assistant: Sarah Cortez
(915) 775-2555

The Region 10 OSAR Program is a grant funded program
through Texas Department of State Health Services.