Serving in Española, New Mexico
Travel north of the glittering lights and galleries of Santa Fe and be transported to a different world. Nestled along the banks of the Rio Grande lies the small community of Española. Home of green chilis and low rider cars, the area was first inhabited by Pueblo Indians over a thousand years ago. The village of Española was founded in 1598 by early Spanish explorers. It has been called the oldest capital city in the United States.
Community Partner & Work Projects
In 2019, Global Volunteers was invited by the principal of Hernandez Elementary School, one of 13 schools in the Española School District to help with a number of important projects. The district covers a large, mostly rural area, serving children in Española as well as several surrounding communities. It has approximately 3,500 mostly Hispanic students in grades K-12. It is the 16th largest school district in the state of New Mexico and is the second largest employer in the city of Española.
The district faces a number of challenges. The graduation rate at 67% is well below the state average. A New Mexico teacher shortage makes staffing a constant struggle. 100% of district students are eligible for free meals through federal programs available in low income areas. Homelessness is also a significant challenge for many area students.
Global Volunteers has been asked to assist the district with several work projects. You may be asked to help with:
- Tutoring –work with Pre-K – 6 grade children, helping with literacy, basic math, science and general classroom assistance.
- Maintenance – painting, light carpentry, etc. Working with the district’s buildings and maintenance staff to update and repair school infrastructure and develop new learning spaces.
- Organization – sorting, cataloging and organizing old school supplies (textbooks, computers, art supplies, desks, tables, etc.)
- Playground repair/development – The Hernandez Elementary Principal would love to develop a soccer field at her school. Other schools need assistance in repairing and updating playgrounds.
Service Program Logistics
Your team will be led by a trained team leader. In cooperation with the community leaders, your team leader will facilitate your team’s orientation, assist you in becoming fully engaged in the work project, and manage all project-related logistical issues.
Meals & Lodging
During your program, you will stay in the Española Rodeway Inn. All rooms have private bathrooms, television, air conditioning, a mini-fridge and free WIFI. Single occupancy rooms are available for an additional fee. Three meals a day are included in your service program contribution. Breakfast is served each morning at the hotel. Lunch is in the school cafeteria. Dinner is provided at local restaurants.
All airport transfers and transportation in the host community are included in your service program contribution, assuming you arrive and depart within the specified itinerary. A Global Volunteers team leader will greet you at the Santa Fe airport and transport you to the Rodeway Inn in a van or bus. Española is about 30 minutes’ drive north of Santa Fe. Note: transportation for free-time activities is not included in your service program contribution. There is very limited public transportation in Española, so if you wish to explore the area outside of the host community, we recommend you drive or rent a car during your service program.
Located between Taos and Los Alamos, Española is a place of stunning rock formations, wide open skies and incredible light. Photographer Ansel Adams shot some of his most famous works in the area. The home and studio of artist Georgia O’Keeffe is now a small museum in the nearby village of Abiquiu. Down the road lies the Puye Cliff Dwellings, ancestral home to the Santa Clara people. Numerous hiking trails dot the area. And of course, only half an hour away lies Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capital, renowned for Pueblo-style architecture and a hotbed of art galleries, museums and restaurants. All of these activities are optional, and some may require additional fees and extra drive time before or after your program.
Service Program Contribution
Global Volunteers’ service program contribution covers all lodging, three meals a day, in-community team transportation, emergency medical evacuation insurance, all preparatory materials, onsite orientation, a full-time team leader, and administration costs. The service program contribution is $1,252 for one week. Please ask your Volunteer Coordinator about referral credits as well as discounts for students, companions, groups, and alumni volunteers. We encourage you to use Global Volunteers’ online fundraising tool to create a personalized webpage to request partially tax-deductible donations from family and friends to help cover your service program contribution. Airfare and free time activity expenses are your responsibility. The service program contribution and airfare are tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers.
“We are playing an important necessary role building this coalition of friendship and growth with the good folks of Española, New Mexico.”
~ Janet Nicoletti, New Mexico Volunteer