Salida

No pneumonia, no bronchitis, no flu for me! I am on the road to recovery—from a pretty intense cold and perhaps some altitude sickness. I feel much better as I write this, and the doctor recommended I try some reishi mushroom tonic for the altitude.

I went with Claudia, Carrie and Nicole to Salida this afternoon, a small town about 80 miles north of Alamosa. We walked around and browsed at some of the shops, ending the trip with pizza and root beer floats from Amica’s—sooo good!

We had a really great discussion about the need for employment opportunities in Alamosa and the project I’ll be working on to create micro-enterprises for families. I talked with Claudia about the farmer’s market in the summer and how great it would be if they could start selling crafts and foods there. So many of the Guatemalan refugees in the valley make delicious foods and try and sell them outside the shops—what they need is a stable location and a commercialized kitchen. It got us thinking even more—why doesn’t La Puente set up a commercialized kitchen that can be open to the community to use? People could come in and create all these authentic dishes from their cultures and sell them to the public—this could be an income for so many unemployed. They could also create handbags and hammocks and soaps and—the list goes on and on. It can be a localized Ten Thousand Villages! Rather than trying to train and prepare them for jobs they may not be ready for or have any interest in—and jobs that don’t even exist in the valley— we need to find their talents—their skills—their passions—and let them get to work at it!

I took a few entrepreneurship classes in Kent and made a few solid connections. I feel some of them may be helpful with solid advice as we take off with this—in whichever direction it may end up.

Either way, I really want to set that as a goal for my time here: to create a more sustainable environment for rural entrepreneurship; to empower these folks in the valley to provide for themselves and their families, by doing what they love to do.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

“There’s no committee that says, ‘This is the type of person who can change the world – and you can’t.’ Realizing that anyone can do it is the first step. The next step is figuring out how you’re going to do it.” – Adora Svita

“Every single person I know who is successful at what they do is successful because they love doing it.” – Joe Penna

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