Letter to the editor: Youthful labor, enthusiasm appreciated

The board of directors and staff of the Costilla County Economic Development Council would like to thank the Southwest Conservation Corps youth for assisting us in clearing out the west wing of the Sangre de Cristo Heritage Center to prepare for construction of a new Community Kitchen and dining area. Eight young people and their two supervisors took on the thankless job of dumping, moving and cleaning and did so with no complaints—rather, with much enthusiasm. Prior to moving a cabinet full of historic photos, the group started looking through the photos and were surprised at what they saw. A couple of them blurted out, “What? We had a swimming pool?” As they looked through the photos, the look of pride on their faces was evident. San Luis indeed has a rich and prolific history. San Luis is still making history.

By the time they saw the photos in the cabinet, the feeling was one of stewardship. One young man discovered a box of several issues of “El Democrata” newspaper from the 1940s. (They will be sent to the University of Houston to be digitized). Within three hours, the work was done. Heavy lifting, dust, moving boxes and cases and lots of humor, were the order of the day. Thanks to these young men and women for doing their part. The Community Kitchen will truly be an integral part of the community.  We’ll have cooking classes, canning food, making jellies, biscochitos, tamales, empanadas, and posole.  There will be events such as community meetings, small conventions, celebrations (such as Mis Crismes). There are many possibilities.

The Community Kitchen project is being funded by Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is a joint effort of the Costilla County Economic Development Council and the Costilla County Board of Commissioners. 

Once again, thanks to our youth leaders. You are a breath of fresh air. 

Names of the participants are:

Rosa Linda Deherrera

Richard Atencio Jr.

Lennie Valdez

Mario Penuelas

Ashley Gutierrez

Alexandria Taylor

Ryan Tijerina

Carlitos Medina

Mil gracias. Los apreciamos mucho!

The board and staff of the CCEDC