San Antonio third grader sews masks for neighbors, healthcare workers, Bexar County constables

Mateo Alcorta just started sewing in February and has already made a 1,000 masks

Long before the mask ordinance went into effect in San Antonio, a local third grader from Elrod Elementary was making masks for his neighbors, healthcare workers and even for people as far as Singapore.
Long before the mask ordinance went into effect in San Antonio, a local third grader from Elrod Elementary was making masks for his neighbors, healthcare workers and even for people as far as Singapore.

SAN ANTONIO – Long before the mask ordinance went into effect in San Antonio, a local third grader from Elrod Elementary was making masks for his neighbors, healthcare workers and even for people as far as Singapore.

Mateo Alcorta learned how to sew in February and since then, he’s made a thousand masks, all to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“When my mom told me about the coronavirus, I got surprised,” said Alcorta. “I wanted to help people by giving the face masks, so we can stop it from spreading.”

Alcorta’s mother, Elizabeth Salinas, taught him how to sew.

“He remembered me crocheting,” said Salinas. “So, I taught him how to crochet, so, he started making ear straps, (he would )crochet the yarn. He picked it up really quickly.”

Mateo started making the masks for his neighbors, and then, the requests started coming in.

“His godmother had messaged us,” said Salinas. “She works at the nursing facility and she said they needed face masks because they didn’t have any. So, he went and he made a bulk of face masks and sent them to her.”

Since then, he’s made masks for healthcare workers, the military, for people in the UK, Singapore, all over the country, as well as his third grade teacher and her daughter, and most recently, Bexar County Precinct 2 constables.

“They always say like, “Thank you” and “You are very helpful.”

Alcorta was excited to show us the certificate of appreciation he received from the constables and all the “thank you” notes.

Salinas said they are not asking for money, that Mateo just wants to help out.

“I’m extremely proud of him and the selfless act that he’s doing,” said Salinas. “We’re always telling him how proud we are.”

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.

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About the Authors:

Stephanie Serna is a weekday anchor on Good Morning San Antonio and GMSA at 9 a.m. She joined the KSAT 12 News team in November 2009 as a general assignments reporter.