Isleta Pueblo. The fourth quarter of 2016 was highly productive for the Center. Based upon the success of our organic farming cooperative at Isleta Pueblo, four other Isleta Pueblo extended families approached us to help them each form their own farming cooperatives. This phenomenon—neighbors wanting to emulate the success of pilot coops in their community—is the basis of the Center’s work to create and extend successful small business cooperatives among members of New Mexico’s underserved communities. These new coops will launch in time for the 2017 growing season.
Gallinas, NM. The Center is busy completing feasibility studies to launch a new cultural tourism cooperative in the San Miguel County village of Gallinas. The tourism cooperative will initially have eight founding members and plans to launch operations in June, 2017. Among the partners in this new coop development are USDA, San Miguel County, Candelaria Fund and McCune Charitable Foundation.
Ramah, NM. The Center met with Navajo community members in Ramah to begin the process of forming a cultural tourism cooperative in that area. The Center is working with members of the Ramah Weavers Association, staff at the Pine Hills School and others.
Chama, NM. The Center is working with local residents in the Chama area to launch at least one organic farming cooperative in the Chama Valley area for the 2017 growing season.
New and Ongoing Incubation Projects
The Center has been actively incubating new NGOs (non-profit organizations) for more than 15 years and in the fourth quarter, the Center was actively supporting at least 14 new and emerging projects and NGOs. This has been a long-time commitment at the Center to help the NGO sector in New Mexico—currently at about $6.5 billion annually—to continue to grow in service to New Mexico residents.
Story Riders Project Ready to Launch
The Center’s new multi-impact project—Story Riders—will launch in early 2017. Project coordinator Marco Sandoval has been finalizing the details of the project, which now includes Dolores Gonzales Elementary School, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and the City of Albuquerque’s Esperanza Bike Shop as active partners. This innovative NEW CSC program organizes elementary school kids to enjoy after school bicycle rides to the homes of Mexicano/Chicano elders to learn about cultural values and traditions. The outdoor exercise program includes reading and writing about the lessons learned from the elders.