State Nonprofit Meeting with Saguache Residents
A new initiative by the Colorado Trust, a healthy equity foundation means that San Luis valley residents will have the opportunity to help shape and determine future programming and funding that improves their health and well-being.
The Colorado Trust, a statewide philanthropic foundation hired Arden Trewartha, one of five new Community Partners. Based around the state, the Community Partners are longtime rural Colorado residents.
Trewartha has been meeting with community members in the San Luis Valley to discuss opportunities, challenges, and issues that impact the health of their family, friends and neighbors. She wants to partner with communities and help them come up with their own plans and ideas to improve health and well-being for people who lived in the San Luis Valley.
This past summer, the Colorado Trust Fund hosted a couple of community gatherings. The first was the Hogs & Hot Air Festival on June 21, where more than 60 locals listened to ranchers tell tales and afterward, were treated to a community meal which included local pork, potatoes, green chili and churros. Then in November, the Colorado Trust brought folks together around the table again for the Annual Saguache Thanksgiving Community Meal.
“For me, as a community partner working in the San Luis Valley under the new Community Partnerships initiative,” wrote Trewartha on her blog, “these events signified a community that is deeply aware of and appreciative of its roots, while also looking to the future and how to grow accordingly. Both the town and county of Saguache are among the poorest in the state. Young people who can leave the community do so, to the Front Range or beyond. In preliminary conversations with residents, jobs, “smart growth”—attracting or growing small industry or businesses, in other words—as well as youth development and engagement are recurring themes.”
The Colorado Trust will also be present at Tuesday’s discussions about how residents get local news. See the December 13 post for details.
Trewartha speaks Spanish and recently returned from two years of Peace Corps work in Peru with her husband. She lives in Buena Vista and has spent the last few months in the valley, hosting both one-on-one meetings and chatting with as many residents as possible. Arden Trewartha may be contacted at Arden@coloradotrust.org or by telephone 719-239-1200.