New Medanales Farm Cooperative Formed

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The Center has helped local farmers in Medanales, NM, form an organic farming cooperative. The new cooperative will sell its product to the Ghost Ranch Conference and Retreat Center. Both the Medanales Coop and Ghost Ranch are located along the Rio Chama in Rio Arriba County. Ghost Ranch is located only about 24 miles upstream from Medanales, making it a local, sustainable market for the Medanales Coop. The president of the cooperative is world-renowned weaver Cordelia Coronado, daughter of internationally–known weaver Agueda Martínez.

Isleta Pueblo Coops Up and Running

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There are now five organic farming coops in full operation at Isleta Pueblo. All of the coops are family-based for-profit coops. They are coordinating their efforts to achieve savings and economy of scale; for example, the five coops are bundling their product to obtain larger markets and they joined to purchase organic seeds and infrastructure to create cost savings by buying in bulk.

Story Riders Project Successful in Inaugural Year

Students at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School participated in the inaugural season of Story Riders. This innovative NEW CSC project (co-sponsored by the NHCC) organized Dolores Gonzales Elementary School kids to enjoy after school bicycle rides to the homes of Mexicano/Chicano elders in the historic neighborhood of Barelas to learn about cultural values and traditions. The outdoor exercise program included reading and writing about the lessons learned from the elders. Story Riders combined culturally-based education and writing tied to specific bicycle rides that provided the educational and cultural experiences that will gave these elementary students a deep dive into their culture while building their physical skills via bicycle rides throughout the mid-Rio Grande region. At the end of the program, the students each received their own bicycle as part of the program. Story Riders targets 5th grade students from elementary schools in predominantly Mexicano and Chicano neighborhoods. 

Sembrando Salud! Fully Operational

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More than 30 South Valley families are planting organic vegetable gardens to feed themselves healthy food this summer through the Center’s Sembrando Salud! Project.  Sembrando Salud is a NEW CSC project that helps working people grow their own organic vegetables to help create a healthy diet for themselves and their children. The project provides hands-on technical assistance on planning the garden, implementing drip irrigation systems, providing organic seeds and providing nutritional information on how to combine fresh vegetables into a healthy diet. 

Staff Updates

Long-time (and now former) CSC finance manager Carla Nieto received her accounting degree in May from the University of New Mexico. Her persistence, her work ethic, her intelligence and her focus helped her succeed in her quest to become an accountant. Next up for Carla is earning CPA certification and ultimately, completing a MA degree in accounting. She is currently employed at Kubiak Melton and Associates.

CSC Program Manager Javier Rojo has been accepted into the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy at Princeton University and will leave the Center at the end of July to begin his studies towards a master’s degree in public policy. Javier has a dual degree in economics and philosophy, summa cum laude, from the University of New Mexico. 

Joining the Center as a Program Manager is Rafael Martínez. Rafa previously worked at the Center, but left to pursue a Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of New Mexico. He is now writing his doctoral dissertation and will complete his thesis while he works at the Center. 

Funding Partners Make It All Possible

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All of our work is made possible by donors, foundations and government grants. Without them the Center could not offer the technical assistance and support it provides to members of underserved communities. Among our supporters are the Candelaria Fund, a small family-run foundation that has been a strong supporter of the Center’s work. A shout out to Richard and Caroline Tower! Thank you so much!

The Center also has received funding from the local Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The CCHD vets its grantees thoroughly and offers excellent recommendations to potential grantees on potential improvements and processes. Thanks to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe for their support!

The Kellogg Foundation has been a long-term partner with the Center and has provided ongoing support for the Center’s work. Kellogg program manager Robby Rodríguez has been working closely with the Center to ensure our work is productive and successful. Thank you, Kellogg!

The McCune Charitable Foundation has been a long-time partner of the Center and has been unwavering in their support of the Center’s work over many years. We are proud of the partnership we have developed with McCune and its excellent staff. Mil gracias, McCune!

The USDA has been a partner with the Center on many grants, most aimed at improving the economy of rural New Mexico. Currently, the Center is working on a SDGG Grant and a Rural Business Development Grant (RDBG), both from USDA.  In addition, the Center received a Farm Service Agency (FSA) grant, also from USDA.

There are many other partners who fund the Center’s work and who make it possible for the Center to provide hands-on support to New Mexico’s Indigenous and Mexicano/Chicano communities.

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