2013 Star: Pueblo Unido CDC

 

Pueblo Unido Photo: AURORA SALDIVAR/Coachella Uninc
Members of Pueblo Unido carry signs expressing the needs of their communities at their annual pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Photo: AURORA SALDIVAR/Coachella Uninc

 

Pueblo Unido CDC: Building Sustainability in Rural Communities

 

Why Their Star Shone Brightly in 2013

Pueblo Unido CDC undertook a plethora of ambitious projects in 2013, scoring victory after victory for the benefit of the unincorporated communities of the Eastern Coachella Valley (ECV). One of these victories was helping to obtain the funding for the paving of the rural mobile home parks, known as “parques polanco,” the culmination of a community’s 16-year fight for cleaner air. The $4.1 million project is slated to begin in mid-2014.

The nonprofit is living up to its mission of “responding to the needs and concerns of underrepresented rural communities of the ECV through actively engaging and fostering collaborative efforts among residents and other stakeholders to find viable solutions, leverage critical resources, and bring new opportunities to improve the quality of life for its residents.”

Sergio Carranza, executive director, reflected on Pueblo Unido’s impact in 2013.

Highlights of 2013

A priority for Pueblo Unido is improving the access to clean and healthy water for rural residents, making one of the year’s best moments “the launching of the short term arsenic treatment program, which is providing reliable drinking water to over 400 people in mobile home parks with high levels of arsenic and fluoride.”

Another key moment was being a part of the community center that Sister Gabriela Williams opened this year for the youth of the parques polancos.

“The San Jose Community Learning Center opened its doors to the youth and adults, creating access to educational and training activities,” said Carranza.

Biggest Lesson Learned in 2013

“As community organizers, we need to make sure that communication is maintained effectively at all times,” said Carranza.

Goals for 2014

“Create partnerships with private investors to increase resources for projects in the Eastern Coachella Valley,” said Carranza,” and increase organizational capacity to enhance effectiveness of programs and projects.”

 

-AURORA SALDIVAR/Coachella Uninc

 

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