Amigos del Valle functions as a consortium of county and city governments to implement and administer comprehensive human services to the eligible elderly of the lower Rio Grande valley. It was established as part of the Lower Rio Grande Development Council-Area Agency on Aging, organized under the federally funded Title VII Nutrition Project as authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965. It began service to the aged in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties in 1975, under a four-month Title VII grant from the Governor's Committee on Aging. It started with an operating cost of $357,000, and by February 1976 the agency's budget had increased to $1.9 million. In 1979 an Outreach Services program was initiated to provide individual, family, and group counseling on health care, transportation needs, and financial problems for the elderly.
In 1990 the ADV had an annual budget of over $4 million, employed 102 persons, and operated seventeen multipurpose senior service centers and fifteen satellite nutrition sites, from which 3,000 older Texans were provided nutritionally balanced hot meals daily, as well as educational, recreational, and social services. The ADV operated a fleet of fourteen buses and twelve vans that daily transported 400 senior participants from their homes on field trips and to shopping sites and medical facilities. The ADV also provided supportive services during natural disasters. Through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development the ADV provided housing projects for Valley elderly. By 1990 the agency owned and managed elderly housing units in Brownsville (100 units), McAllen (72), Harlingen (55), Pharr (40), Raymondville (38), and Weslaco (71). It was estimated that 50,000 Senior Citizens in the three-county area had been served by 1990. Amigos del Valle also provided home health care and home delivered meals for those individuals who were homebound. ADV also published a monthly newspaper available at all the centers or delivered to homebound individuals. Aside from the paid staff ADV depended on volunteers to carry out its objectives. In 1980 1,200 volunteers worked an estimated 240,000 hours a year at the senior service centers. ADV holds a Volunteer Appreciation Banquet annually in May.