Cornerstones Community Partnerships has expanded its cultural landscape.We are fully dedicated to our new slogan, “Partnering with communities for a sustainable future”, which endorses a new dimension to our preservation efforts…economic development.
Through the generosity of an existing donor, we have created a Solar Initiative directed to installing and maintaining solar energy on tribal lands and extending into economically challenged Northern New Mexico villages. Vital to this effort is the training of youth, the unemployed and underemployed, health benefits, and cost savings for individuals and as well as their communities. All of the preceding adds to the preservation of buildings and culture with a 21 st century thrust. Cornerstones and Remy’s Good Day Fund are partnering to invest $250,000 in solar projects by the end of 2019. New Mexico ranks second in the nation for solar potential but due to tis extreme poverty has been slow to act on this opportunity. We want to change this scenario, a step at a time! Our first foray into solar power and energy sovereignty produced three different grantees. We awarded Gallup Solar monies to conduct a pilot program benefiting members of the Navajo Nation living off the grid in the Greater Gallup area. The unemployed and the underemployed learned how to install and maintain solar on their own or the homes of extended family. We presented our check in person and were overwhelmed by the number of people who drove long distances to learn about solar. Cornerstones and Remy’s Good Day Fund also funded the Pueblo of Laguna to design and conduct a study of power needs for a solar installation on a community building in one of their six villages. This is Step 1 In a six-month process to promote sustainability for the Pueblo and the larger community by increasing the use of renewable energy.
A totally different project captured our attention in Ribera, NM., in Villanueva Valley. 10 years ago, The Old Ribera School underwent a total transformation giving it a new identity as the Ribera Community Cultural Center. The building has become an important asset to the community and outlying areas, providing a gathering place for a multitude of activities. When the building was restored, it was done with consideration for solar installation in the future. We provided a grant to buy materials and install the required solar systems.
Cornerstones is combining the old with the new on our path to preserving New Mexico’s unique heritage.