Want to build a new world together out of the old? Join us! We’re starting by transforming the Herrera Trailer Park near the center of Questa into a vibrant village that supports sober and healthy lifeways, place-based living, local food networks, affordable housing, community projects, multicultural celebrations, job training, and economic opportunity.
TiLT, the Taos Initiative for Life Together, is using its resources to start QUiLT—the Questa Initiative for Life Together. Both share the same mission: to be an incubator for personal change and systemic change at the localized, regional level. To get this going, we’ll eventually need board members, fiscal advisers, core donors, business partners, fans, and organizational allies. But right now, we’re seeking volunteers for a hands-on work party!
We envision four projects:
Comprehensive site cleanup: We will provide a big dumpster on site, a backhoe, a chainsaw, and about a half dozen assorted rakes and shovels. Volunteers are encouraged to bring trash bags, tarps, and any tools they are proficient with, from spades to limb loppers to chainsaws. Work will consist of unskilled labor, such as removing brush—to skilled labor, like using a chainsaw to prune a forest walkway.
Conscious deconstruction of a hand-hewn timber & adobe ruin, beam by beam: A skeleton of a building still stands; we want to catalog it as we deconstruct it, so we might rebuild it anew. We will provide pallets for storing removed beams and adobes, guidance on photo documentation, and markers to name and number the components for easier reconstruction. Volunteers are encouraged to bring: hammers, wire cutters, crowbars, nail pullers, sawz-alls, and sledgehammers. Skilled and unskilled labor welcome!
Begin to construct a 60’ long privacy wall made of repurposed plastic. We will have dug a trench, we will provide an architectural design, and we will provide professional supervision. The Repurposed Plastic Project will provide eight 8’ x 50” x 16” modular wall sections of metal fencing filled with compressed waste plastic, and the hardware to install, attach, and stabilize them. Together, in a very short time, with volunteers we hope to assemble a ready-to-stucco 60-foot long privacy wall, creating a safe patio space for residents to gather and children to play. We will have some of these tools, but volunteers are encouraged to bring hog ring pliers, wire cutters, and regular pliers.
Construct Raised Garden Beds: We will plan to provide wood and hardware to make up to three 5’ x 8’ raised beds. We also plan to provide topsoil and sheep manure. These may be done using hugelkulture principles, adding logs and leaves and sticks underneath topsoil and amendments to increase soil health and aeration. Volunteers are encouraged to bring power tools and hand tools to cut and construct garden beds, such as saws, drills, and measuring tape;, as well as shovels and screws.
As hosts, each of the four days we will:
- Offer a simple breakfast of cereal, yogurt, fruit, coffee & tea around 8:30 am
- Start our shared workday together around 9 am
- Have a brief devotional time Sunday morning
- Offer simple lunches around noon
- End the workday around 5 pm
- Expect that dinner, lodging, and any evening activities will be decided by each volunteer, not us.
Evenings could include possible informal campfires, music, etc.
What to bring:
- It’s spring in Questa, which means everyone should be prepared for all kinds of weather.
- Please bring rain jackets, warm hats, sun hats, work gloves, sun protection, warm layers, sunscreen, water bottles, warm socks, good outdoor shoes which will surely get muddy, and an extra pair of indoor shoes.
- Lastly, bring emergency contact info and any medications needed.
In the next few years, as we transform this trailer park into QUiLT, The Questa Initiative for Life Together, we hope to make it home to a village that combines sober living, small business incubation, food production, affordable housing, and supportive community.
We’re looking for like-minded allies in Taos County who want to live into and learn about the Watershed Way. It’s a home-grown covenanted social and spiritual movement that is an earth-honoring, diversity-dignifying, capacity-building, despair-crushing way of life. Whatever religious or cultural identity you may come from, we diverse members of the Watershed Way seek to live well together in place, in reverence and humility, in right relationship with seasons, self, other, nature, and Spirit. Our motto is “do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.”
We are actively seeking funds and volunteers for projects and work weeks in June and August. We’re dying for donors and crying out for contributors. Your donations of finances, materials, and pro-bono expertise will give us the support we need to turn this vision into a reality!