Clarissa A. Durán
We are coming into a time of love and balance. We are being reborn spiritually via the Energy of the Divine Feminine. No, this isn’t a woo-woo piece on spirituality. This is a story of the heart of Española. We are a people of complex cosmology made of our European ancestors who came to México, created life with our Aztec grandmothers, whose progeny came to El Norte and created life with our Tewa ancestors. We are Yo Soy Joaquin[‘s] everything and nothing. We are La Raza Cósmica.
The greatest part of our cosmology is only now being born within us, through our work, into our community. The Española Valley and surrounding areas are experiencing a great coming together of organizations and individuals working to create community life balance through their actions filled with love and compassion. We are returning to the ways of our ancestors using new technology.
Below are a few important examples of the re-affirmation of northern New Mexico culture taking place in Española. We gain resiliency to the mainstream modern economy by revitalizing our part in the Earth’s ecology. This includes the Earth’s economy. We are not consumers. We are creators, lovers and children of Cosmic Life. We don’t have a dependency on the world’s cash economy. We have a problem with that economy that began nearly 80 years ago with the influx of New Deal cash that Gov. Clyde Tingley brought to New Mexico in 1935. Prior to that influx, northern New Mexico’s economy was based on subsistence living and barter. Nearly everyone in our communities was land-rich and cash-poor. Moving away from that traditional economy and into the cash economy has created cultural conflict as depicted in the sidebar.
Clarissa Durán was raised and has raised two children in the agrarian San Pedro neighborhood of Española. She holds a degree in social work and is a community organizer and community systems engineer. She directs the nonprofit organization ¡El Tiempo! Nuevo México.
Siete del Norte is creating a food hub for northern New Mexico through a $750,000 Federal Grant. Río Arriba County has partnered with Siete del Norte in seeking another $300,000 from the New Mexico Legislature. With over $1 million, Siete del Norte plans to revamp the old Hunter Ford buildings and create a commercial kitchen, outdoor farmers’ market, provide space for the Española Community Market (co-op), and Moving Arts Española. The food hub will aggregate local products and develop relationships with markets in order to sell the aggregated products. The next action directly related to the food hub creation is the Río Arriba County Annual Growers and Sellers Conference. It will take place on March 15 at the San Pedro Community Center in Española.
Tewa Women United’s Yiya Vi Kagingdi (YVK), Community Doula Program: Engaging a doula or midwife and receiving the support of this program is an essential piece of regaining the status of giving birth/life back to the community. Full support of the pre-natal and post-natal mother, child and family is re-honored through this movement. 505.747.3259, www.tewawomenunited.org
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs at Northern New Mexico College give our community the opportunity to rediscover the prehistoric magic of engineering, biology, conceptual and theoretical math. Technology such as coding is a reminder of ancient codices. We create communication pathways for the seen and unseen worlds through code. STEM continues to explore the unseen and unknown often using “conventional” methods. A degree in STEM opens opportunities to not only work for a government agency, but to open a local business and hire local people in this mix of ancient art and modern science. 505.747.2100, www.nmmc.edu
Española’s MainStreet Theater is open and across the street from the old Hunter Ford building. Classes are in process, plays and staged readings are being planned, and events are being held. Co-owners Rosalia Triana and Wendy Hassamer have created a space for our gifted youth and adults to strengthen our tradition of storytelling, through theater. They’ve also created a gathering space for our community. Last month, 1 Billion Rising for Justice Española held their day of events at the theater. 505.753.0877, firstname.lastname@example.org
¡El Tiempo! Nuevo México’s Chile Fest—held in conjunction with the Española Farmers’ Market, offers an opportunity to purchase local northern New Mexico chile that has been grown in the valley for hundreds of years. The event, which is held on Labor Day, includes free chile roasting and the new crop’s cook-off, followed by a community meal and music. 505.231.1433, www.eltiemponm.org
Statistics Evidencing Española Valley’s Problem with a Cash Economy (US Census Data 2008-2012)
Española New Mexico
Persons below poverty level 26.3% 19.5%
Bachelor’s degree or higher, age 25+ 16.9% 25.6%
High school graduate or higher, age 25+ 74.9% 83.40%
Per capita money income in past 12 months $19,059 $23,749 (2012 dollars)
Earned Income Tax Information for Río Arriba County
(Brookings Institute, 2007, (www.brookings.edu/research/interactives/2014/county-eitc-map)
Average EITC amount: $1,902
Share of taxpayers with EITC: 22.2%
Health Statistics from New Mexico’s Indicator Based Information System (https://ibis.health/nm.us/):
Teen Birthrate (Girls 15-17)—7th highest in NM—per 1,000 girls
Río Arriba County: 39.4%
New Mexico: 29.5%
Alcohol-Related Deaths per 100,000 population
(Rates are age-adjusted to the 2000 US standard population.)
Río Arriba: 116 (Highest in NM)
US: Data not available
Measure Description for Alcohol: Alcohol-Related Death:
Definition: Alcohol-related death is defined as the total number of deaths attributed to alcohol per 100,000 population. The alcohol-related death rates reported here are based on definitions and alcohol-attributable fractions from the CDC’s Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) website (http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/ardi/Homepage.aspx).
Numerator: Number of alcohol-related deaths in New Mexico
Denominator: New Mexico Population
New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health. Population Data Source: Geospatial and Population Studies Program, University of New Mexico. http://bber.unm.edu/bber_research_demPop.html. U.S. Data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/