As a 501(c)3 CDC, social justice issues are at the core of all activities, programs and projects. In our mission to “support the food, land, water and cultures of the people of Northern New Mexico,” TCEDC has focused on: maintaining equity and ownership for land-based people, overcoming poverty, and providing access to education, business and other sector opportunities. In this historically agrarian region, the Food Sector represents an appropriate, relevant, and viable economic opportunity as well as a means to hold on to tradition, culture, and quality of life. The marginalization of this rural community and its ties to agriculture has fueled TCEDC’s efforts to demonstrate that sustainable “livelihoods in agricultural and food-related enterprises are vital and successful strategies for limited resource food producers, particularly women and people of color.” TCEDC’s accomplishments illuminate the possibilities that exist for communities that engage in relationships that support the values of the people and provide an environment for encouragement and assistance.
Founded in 1987
Since Taos County Economic Development Corporation (TCEDC) was founded in 1987, the challenges facing Northern New Mexico were those of a historic, semi-isolated, rural area transitioning from a centuries old, self-sufficient agrarian base to a commercially focused economy. TCEDC has always operated utilizing a family model in its community development efforts to address these challenges. Our model builds upon the strengths and wisdom of land-based cultures that have demonstrated the ability to survive and overcome adversity by retaining beliefs and values and recognizing the inevitability of cycles.
TCEDC has chosen to work on Community Based Economic Development through value-added and educational opportunities, providing assets and tools for the community that supports and protects the environment of this unique valley. As the gap between rich and poor continues to widen, people’s sense of security, peace and quality of life is at risk. TCEDC continues its work to expand and enhance services that provide hope and inspiration. Native American, Hispanic and land based peoples have joined together through TCEDC projects and programs in a united effort to focus on implementing strategies to strengthen families and a way of life that puts people first. Community food security, land tenure and preservation of water rights are primary among the concerns of the peoples of Northern New Mexico and it is impossible to envision quality of life for future generations without continued attention to land care for these vital elements. It is with our most sincere and heartfelt appreciation of this community that we introduce to you the most current activities, programs and projects of TCEDC “Supporting food, land and cultures of the peoples of Northern, New Mexico.”
TCEDC has been working with the community in developing and assembling the components of a community food system for over 30 years. In our work, TCEDC stands at the Center of a circle or wheel, which advances toward community food security by providing a focus for activities, programs and projects that address the needs of the community.
Aat TCEDC believe in and work by “A Medicine Wheel Model for Organizations.” The medicine wheel is an ancient and universal symbol of life, which exists in many Native American traditions, as well as, in different forms all around the world. Each medicine wheel has four quadrants, representing elements needed to achieve a balance between life and work. The wheel may be seen as balancing the four peoples (red, yellow, black, white), the four directions (N, S, E, W) or the four basic elements (earth, fire, water, air).