MORE THAN 120 EXPECTED TO ATTEND COLONIAS DAY IN SANTA FE

MORE THAN 120 EXPECTED TO ATTEND COLONIAS DAY IN SANTA FE

Dozens of residents from throughout Doña Ana County are preparing for next week’s trip to Santa Fe to mark Colonias Day in the Capitol.

2009 marks the fifth annual trip to Santa Fe, and more than 120 residents and county staff will depart on Feb. 24 at 8 a.m. from the Doña Ana County Government Center for the five-hour drive.

This year, Colonias Initiative leaders have coordinated a Doña Ana County Colonias Banquet, which they hope to make an annual event going forward. The banquet will take place at the Lodge at Santa Fe at 6 p.m., Feb. 24. It’s being billed as an opportunity for residents to come together to acknowledge the work of their legislators and to look back on the successes of the initiative.

The Colonias Initiative began in 2003 when the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution addressing the infrastructure and programmatic needs of the colonias. The Doña Ana County Colonias Initiative has been recognized by the National Association of Counties, the U.S./Mexico Border Counties Coalition and the New Mexico Association of Counties. Doña Ana County has received more than $15 million in funding to improve the basic infrastructure of Doña Ana County’s 37 colonias communities.

Since its inception in 2003, Colonias Day in Santa Fe has represented an opportunity for colonias residents, county elected officials and the Doña Ana County legislative coalition to work together for positive change in chronically underserved communities.

To get more information about Colonias Day in Santa Fe, call Erica Gonzalez in the Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department at (575) 525-5833.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.