On Stands Now
June 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Youth Center Makeover with a Little Support

What was your favorite place growing up? Can you picture it? The place that made you feel invincible, that sparked your imagination. The place where you made new friends and lost track of time. Maybe it was a park or sports field. Maybe it was a library, a church, or even a classroom.

All of us have places that we hold dear because they shaped us. Kids growing up in Questa have had those places for decades. But for a while now the C. A. Cisneros Youth and Family Center has not been among them. Questa’s youth center has been mostly vacant for years, hosting only occasional events and programs. Instead of serving as a hub for fun and inspiration, the center has been fading from the memories of local kids.

“Even after some repairs, local groups have found the youth center difficult to use,” says Questa LOR Community Officer Maria Gonzalez. “The center doesn’t have enough furniture for larger groups [and] its oven and other equipment sometimes don’t work.”

To many Questa residents, it was clear that the youth center needed an update. Over the last year and a half, community groups discussed breathing life into the building, hoping to transform the center once again into a bastion for kids. At the same time, community members and organizations also envisioned using a refurbished youth center to provide more summer and after-school programs for Questa youth.
One staff member with the Village of Questa reached out to Gonzalez with a clear solution. She wanted to purchase new equipment to make the space functional again. LOR’s funding is now helping the village remake the youth center. When finished, the center will have new tables, chairs, couches, bookshelves, and rugs, as well as a new oven, microwave, and TV. A coalition of Questa locals has also come together to launch a new after-school program that will be housed in the renovated center this summer.

“So many of us want to create more opportunities for our kids, and the youth center is key to that mission,” Gonzalez says. “These updates will leave a legacy for Questa’s kids.”

While one Questa landmark will soon be restored, another local tradition will continue on Saturday, June 15, with the Fiestas de San Antonio del Río Colorado. LOR is proud to support this year’s Fiestas and celebrate Questa’s heritage.

If you’ve got a solution to share, you’ll be able to find Gonzalez at a booth at the Fiestas. You can also reach her at maria@lorfoundation.org or (575) 665-2001.

LOR works with rural communities in the Mountain West to enhance livability and prosperity while preserving the character that makes each community unique. LOR supports locally led community projects that improve transportation, housing, the environment, education, civic engagement, water, health, and the economy.