In early December, approximately 50 community members convened to have a Community Platica. This event, hosted by Llano Grande and sponsored by State Farm Insurance Company, highlighted the importance of collective leadership and service-learning in making meaningful community change.
The Community Platica brought together local alumni, community members, educators, parents and youth to explore issues affecting our community and to create an action plan for improving conditions for the benefit of all Delta Area residents. Participants included residents of Monte Alto, La Villa, Edcouch, and Elsa—even alumni that traveled from out of town to attend.
Conversations were gracious and solutions-oriented. Demonstrating a deep pride and love for our communities, participants highlighted local people and relationships as central assets for achieving community change.
Four issues emerged as important priorities for action:
1. To build community and increase participation in change efforts through the creation of alumni associations, parent-teacher organizations, and collaboration between civic and business sectors.
2. To implement a communication strategy to inform stakeholders of community news by identifying fact seekers to write stories and disseminate information through print, radio and/or social media.
3. To establish a nonprofit youth recreation center to nurture our children’s creativity, athleticism and learning—with the support of local municipalities and volunteers.
4. To engage the community for better understanding of the issues affecting Edcouch-Elsa High School and to build partnerships with relevant stakeholders to address those issues.
Excited about the process of engagement, the prospect for action and meaningful conversation, participants called for future Platicas to be held. Look out for the next Platica in late February/early March or participate in one of the action teams in the interim by contacting the Llano Grande Center.
Whether you live here or not, if you care about this community you can contribute to these efforts. As Salvador Cardenas, who traveled from San Antonio said, “Even though I don’t live here right now, these towns are part of my upbringing and part of my identity. I still care about what happens here and want to help make a difference.”