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ERIC Number: ED475912
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Northwest Edinburg Community Resource Center: A Successful Model for Colonia Resident Empowerment.
Perez, Ricardo J.
Located along the U.S. Mexico border, colonias are unincorporated areas with no building codes, city taxes, or infrastructure. Most colonia residents live in poverty. Involving rural colonia residents from Hildago County, Texas, in a concerted effort to solve their problems became a central focus for a task force of educational and social reformers. All agreed that a community resource center was needed where colonia residents could meet, discuss community needs, and implement strategies to improve their living conditions. Such centers provide a place for community service workshops, instruction in English and citizenship, GED classes, student tutorial and computer assistance, boys and girls club activities, federal/state health and social service clinics, and empowerment of rural citizens. The task force visited a nearby community center similar to what they envisioned and then trained colonia residents who were actively involved in their communities as group facilitators. At subsequent meetings, these facilitators helped colonia residents identify their three most important needs, select representatives for the community center, focus on community-centered planning, and feel that they each had a part to play. The facilitators were instrumental in generating community support and ownership of the project. The idea caught the imagination of many individuals, organizations, and politicians who committed funding, land, and services to the project. The task force turned decision-making power over to a board elected from colonia residents. The center has taken tangible form and is now in the architectural phase. (TD)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A