Community Partners Make a Difference this Winter in New Mexico

Friday, January 09, 2004

John and Carolina Guiterrez Arellano and their three small children of Sunland Park, a New Mexico border colonia, are thankful to have a home even though it has no gas, electricity, central air or heat, or an inside bathroom.

As winter approaches, the Arellanos and other families have many immediate and urgent needs. For example, the Arellano's and others will have to rely on oil lamps for light and small propane heaters for warmth.

[Photo 1: Partners collected bags of dishes, cooking utensils, toys, books, games and warm clothes for distribution
The partners collected and distributed things such as dishes, cooking utensils, toys, books, games and warm clothes.

[Photo 3: HUD representative, partners, and volunteers]
Joining with Esperanza Holguin (far right), HUD's Southwest Border Region Initiative's colonia specialist for New Mexico, are Sunland Park resident John Arellano (second from left) and volunteers from Medius, Inc., and AmeriCorp*VISTA

  [Photo 2: The Arellano family including husband, wife and three children]
The Arellano family - from left to right are Anthony, John, Johnny, Carolina and Amanda - need many things to make their lives easier

[Photo 4: Anthony Arellano playing with his new toy]
Anthony Arellano seems fascinated with a new toy.

In early December several HUD partners, including the New Mexico Conference of Churches, AmeriCorp*VISTA and the Sierra Blanca Presbyterian met to meet these immediate needs of 20 families like the Arellanos. Once the partners received the families' wish lists, they sprang into action providing dishes, cooking utensils, toys, books, games and warm clothes.

The group also began laying out their vision for the future.

Restored and rehabilitated houses and a new community center that offers GED courses, computer classes and job training for low-income residents will replace the dilapidated buildings and dusty roads of the colonia. And with the help of the Department and its partners, the families of Sunland Park may soon have their long-term wishes fulfilled too.

Content Archived: September 09, 2009