The Cooperative Development Center of New Mexico creates and supports sustainable lifestyles for Nuevo Mexicanos through organic agriculture, heritage and cultural tourism and affordable housing. The cooperative model assumes that integrating organic agriculture, cultural tourism and affordable housing into a comprehensive regional plan is a strong approach in promoting and conserving the unique heritage and culture of Nuevo Mexicano families and communities.
This model will provide an economic base for long-term sustainability by meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. We are re-focusing existing resources to achieve a 21st century income and sustainable lifestyles for traditional land-based communities.
The cooperative model has been an established form of working together for the common good among Nuevo Mexicanos for several centuries. Communal land grants and acequias—community-owned irrigation systems—have been in place in New Mexico since Spanish colonization began in 1598. In addition, Native American communities up and down the Rio Grande Basin and across New Mexico used communal irrigation systems for centuries before European colonization occurred. This communal model was, and is, also an integral part of Native Americans social and religious practices.
CODECE began operations in fall, 2010, in Truchas, New Mexico. We have already created three co-ops, one in agriculture and two in heritage and cultural tourism. We will use these as models for other Nuevo Mexicano communities to emulate as we move forward.
CODECE expects to launch its affordable housing initiatives in 2012.