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529 Main Street 719-589-9299

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the mission of La Puente

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Punete by operating profitiably and to consistently provide healthy, delicious food and beverages. Milagros is also committed to providing

Our Mission: All profits from Milagros support La Puente’s programs. Our mission is to support La

a welcoming environment for the community, promoting further awareness of hunger, homelessness, and


The Milagros Story

In Spanish Milagros means “miracles,” and that is truly what it took to open and sustain this coffee house. In the early 1990s, the unemployment rate within the San Luis Valley was three times the average of Colorado, and the minimum wage was severely inadequate to live on. In addition, the local newspaper had gone two months without advertising a single local employment opportunity. This situation made it extremely difficult for unskilled workers to find employment, especially for those individuals with a history of homelessness or a lack of previous work experience. In response to the difficulties that La Puente’s clients and guests were facing, the organization’s board members sought a business venue for a job training or employment program. The idea for a coffee house came from customers of Rainbow’s End Thrift Store, where the manager had set up a corner for “Tea and Sympathy”—a place for a free cup of tea or coffee and friendly conversation. The board members welcomed the idea of a coffee house because of the training that it could provide, such as experience with punctuality, food service, computer skills, and customer service. So they decided to acquire the building attached to Rainbow’s End and to open a coffee house (the current location of Hunt Avenue Boutique). Using donated couches, ovens, refrigerators, tables, chairs, and assorted mugs, the coffee house was on track to open in March of 1998. However, one month before the scheduled opening, a health inspector declared the coffee house unfit for business. The public health code required commercial appliances, which cost about $10,000. La Puente’s board called an emergency meeting, and they decided that since they had already asked so many groups and individuals for donations to open the coffee house, they simply had no one else to whom to turn.

The original Milagros Coffee House, located on Hunt Ave.

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They agreed to abandon the project and to begin the arduous process of returning the donated items. The coffeehouse, they declared, would need a miracle. Three days later, on Valentine’s Day, 1998, some guests at the shelter were washing dishes after dinner, and someone turned on the television. The Colorado Lottery was conducting its annual drawing for a nonprofit. In order to nominate a nonprofit organization a lottery player could simply write the name of an organization on the back of his nonwinning ticket and mail it in to the lottery. The shelter guests watched as the announcer drew a ticket out of thousands, and narrowed his eyes as he read, “La Pea-yunta Home?” He asked someone off camera,

“Alamosa… Where’s that?” The noise of the television was overwhelmed by the cheers of guests and employees at the shelter. “We won!?” they all shouted. A volunteer ran to the phone to call the director to give him the good news. It turns out that a community member had been collecting his “losing” lottery tickets to send to the Lottery with La Puente’s name written on the back for the drawing. With the drawing of his ticket, he won $1000, and La Puente was awarded exactly $10,000! The much-needed miracle had occurred, and shortly thereafter, “Milagros” opened its doors. Although Milagros had a happy home attached to Rainbow’s End Thrift Store, a prime retail space became available on the corner of State and Main. Since then, Milagros has been remodeled, and it is now recognized as an integral part of the Alamosa community. 

All profits from Milagros are used to support local charities. Learn more at www.lapuente.net or call 719.589.5909


A Social y Conscious Coffee House The Milagros Mission Statement

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ll profits from Milagros support La Puente’s programs. Our mission is to support La Puente by operating profitably and to consistently provide healthy, delicious food and beverages. Milagros is also committed to providing a welcoming environment for the community and to promoting further awareness of hunger, homelessness, and the mission of La Puente. Milagros serves Solar Roast coffee for more than just its great flavor. You are supporting a company focused on producing organic, fair-trade coffee all while decreasing their carbon footprint! Solar Roast Coffee was started in 2004 in Oregon by two brothers with an interest in making coffee at a low price with alternatives forms of energy. The brothers constructed their first solar powered coffee roaster, called the Helios 1, out of a satellite dish, mirrors and a broccoli strainer. Although this roaster could only produce one pound of coffee at a time, it was also one of the most eco-friendly coffee production method! Throughout the years, the brothers have created and updated new versions of their solar powered coffee roaster, slowly increasing their ability to create produce larger amounts of coffee faster. But, they also discovered that to have the most success with their business that depended on steady, sunny weather, they would have to move the business somewhere with more constant sunlight. Luckily for the brothers, the created the Helios 3 mobile solar roaster that could be moved anywhere they needed! They are now located in Pueblo, Colorado. As of 2012, Solar Roast Coffee is currently using their newest design, the Helios 5. The Helios 5 is a

hybrid mechanism using both solar power and a standard conventional natural-gas heater. Although not as efficient as direct solar heating, this newest design has functioned to decrease the overall electric bill of the entire business. So when you drink coffee at Milagros, you are not only supporting all of La Puente’s programs, you are also supporting environmental and economic sustainability. Drink up! For more information about fair trade, visit transfairusa.org For more information about Solar Roast, visit www.solarroast.com

Check out La Puente on the web at www.lapuente.net

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About La Puente

La Puente is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Local community members started La Puente in 1982 in response to the community’s need to house and provide assistance to a number of homeless and underserved members in the valley. It began as only a small homeless shelter in a church’s basement. However, things grew quickly, and during the late 1980s a director was hired, and La Puente became an independent organization. Since that time the organization has expanded in many directions in order to better serve the needs of the San Luis Valley community. The following summaries provide a brief glimpse at La Puente’s services today:

Adelante Family Self-Sufficiency Program Adelante is a two year transitional living program designed to empower homeless families to achieve self-reliance and financial independence. Through home visits, weekly life skills classes and budget planning, families have a supportive network.

La Puente Home La Puente Home is the only organization in the San Luis Valley that supplies emergency shelter services. Families, migrant workers, and community members are welcome to share nutritious meals, rest in a safe environment and find help in resolving difficult situations. Address: 913 State Ave. Alamosa, CO Phone: 719.589.5909

Address: 511 Sixth Street Alamosa, CO Phone: 719.587.0538

Outreach Services PALS: Positive Activities Lift the Spirit Positive Activities Lift the Spirit is an afterschool program for children of families participating in Adelante. Through tutoring and homework assistance, creative activities, life skill classes, and an exciting summer program, PALS provides a structured, stable, and caring environment for growth. Address: 509 1/2 Hunt Ave Phone: 719.589.6316

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The Outreach Services program provides homeless prevention services to individuals and families experiencing crisis situations in the San Luis Valley. Outreach Services can provide rental and utility assistance, basic furniture needs and medical assistance on a case-by-case basis. Outreach can also help connect people to resources within the community in order to help them live more selfsufficiently. Address: 929 State Ave. Phone: 719.587.3781

All profits from Milagros are used to support local charities.


ReThreads ReThreads is La Puente’s clothing resource. The service provides clothing for job interviews, work, or school at no cost to community members. Address: 511 6th St. Alamosa, CO Phone: 719.589.9610

Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley La Puente is also affiliated with the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley. Each year the Network’s fourteen food banks provide over 20,000 food packages to families and others in need within the Valley. The Food Bank Network also organizes gleaning trips and helps manage the Community Gardens. Address: 513 6th St. Alamosa, CO Phone: 719.589.4567

Community Gardens La Puente helps to manage the Community Gardens located at Polston Elementary and Boyd Elementary in Alamosa. The Community Gardens serve educational and practical purposes. Classes from the schools visit the gardens for science and nutrition lessons, and the Shelter, Food Bank and local community members benefit from the fresh produce from June through September. Community Garden nights are open to the public. Phone: 719.589.4567

Gleaning Program The Gleaning Program leads volunteer groups to local farms in order to gather the produce left in the fields after the harvesters have finished. The produce is then cleaned and distributed to local food banks. During a gleaning trip groups are taught about farmworkers, nutrition and food and farming issues. Discussions are encouraged. If your church, school or civic organization is interested in participating in a gleaning trip please contact the Food Bank Network.

Are you interested in supporting La Puente’s mission of service to underserved members of the San Luis Valley community? Visit La Puente’s website at www.lapuente.net in order to find more information regarding its programs and how you can donate, volunteer, schedule a work group, and help La Puente flourish. Or call La Puente at 719.589.5909.

Check out La Puente on the web at www.lapuente.net

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MENU

Coffee, Lattes, & Cold Drinks

Hot Coffee Americano Caramel Macchiato Cappuccino Italian Cream Sodas Shakes Café au Lait Tea Latte Exotic Lattes Breve Hot Cocoa Smoothies Espresso Loose Leaf Tea Fruit Juices Sodas *Flavor shots available

Baked Goods

Turnovers Cinnamon Rolls Scones

Cookies Croissants

Monkey Menu for Kids Monkey Milk Monkey Smoothie

Monkey Shake Monkey Gusher

We also offer ice cream in cones or cups, yogurt cups, breakfast menu items including quiche, burritos, bagels, and Belgian waffles, and a lunch menu featuring a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads, and paninis! Contact Milagros at 719.589.9299 “Great Coffee for a Great Cause!” All profits go to benefit La Puente Home non-profit programs

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Events at Milagros

Join us for our monthly events!

Come join us for Open Mic Night every first Saturday!

Check out Milagros Coffeehouse’s Facebook page to join us for other fun events such as documentary nights, trivia, Death Cafe, art installations, and live music!

Interested in showing your art? Have an event but need a space? Milagros is a great place to hang and sell art in the community. Every month showcases a different artist. If you are interested in booking a month, call 719-587-3499.

Milagros is a great option to give your next event a feeling of coziness and community involvement! It is available to hold open events during business hours and closed events after business hours. Please call at least two weeks prior to event to book space. 719-587-3499

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Volunteer at La Puente Come Apply Today! Do you want to serve? There are many volunteer opportunities at La Puente for community members looking to give back! Much of what LaPuente does would not be possible without the commitment and love of our volunteers. If you are interested in what you can do with La Puente, come visit us at our Volunteer Office at 317 State Ave or call 719-587-3499. The Shelter: Volunteers are needed to make sure that the shelter is clean and functional. Day to day upkeep, such as the preparing of bed rolls, creation of hygiene kits, and preparing of meals are needed to help make La Puente capable of serving all our guests and community members. Outreach Homeless Prevention Program: Volunteer members help out with many events that Outreach hosts, such as the Fall Backpack Drive and the Outreach Christmas Party. They may also volunteer to work at the front desk, assisting clients and answering the phone. Adelante Transitional Housing Program: Volunteers can lead Life Skills Classes, such as how to balance a checkbook or yoga classes. Families are always striving for self-sufficiency and success. The introduction of new topics are always welcome! PALS Children’s Program: PALS needs short term volunteers to read to the children or lead an arts and craft session. Long term volunteers are encouraged to come and help on a more consistent basis, to help with daily activities and serve as good role models.

Rainbow’s End and ReThreads: Volunteers are needed to work in the stores, sorting and hanging goods, organizing donations, etc. There are Rainbow’s End locations in both Alamosa and Monte Vista. Food Bank Network: Volunteers assist throughout the Valley in all pantries, in the creation and distribution of boxes during commodities and in the gleaning of produce from local farms. Community Gardens: Volunteers help with the upkeep of the gardens and grow dome and with Community Garden Nights during the summer which educate the community about healthy food choices and sustainable living!

Come fill out an application at our offices or visit www.lapuente.net, click “Serve with Us” and print out your own application! “Love cannot remain by itself -- it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service.” -Mother Theresa

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“I don’t know what your destiny wil be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who wil be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” ― Albert Schweitzer

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La Puente Stories

The Tale of the Idealistic Architect

Written by Jenna Kallestad, ‘12-’13 Volunteer When I was young I dreamed of being an architect. I spent hours designing and redesigning bedrooms, kitchens, houses, and entire properties. The plans always started small, just a design for my bedroom, but inevitably the paper started flying and I was designing room after room and house after house. In my plans I had a bedroom with a

secret passageway, a spiral staircase that led to a secret library, a tree house, and a magic forest. The list went on as I sketched feverishly and my floor became covered with my plans. Yes, I would think, surveying my work, I wanted to be an architect. But those plans had nothing to do with architecture. I wasn’t designing real houses and structures. I didn’t like math or straight lines. Honestly, I thought buildings were ugly. What I was designing was an environment; I was building a world full of all of the things I loved and cared about. Since then my dream world has become

From Panhandler to Hempster

Written by Chloe Makarick, 2013 Volunteer Calvin graduated from the “Tilling the Soil of Opportunity” entrepreneurial class at Taos County Economic Development Corporation. With determination and dreams of filling a gap, Calvin wanted to set up a catering business to provide lunches at a homeless shelter in Taos. But then the program lost funding, so Calvin moved to the San Luis Valley to find work. In October 2010, while unloading hay from a trailer in Crestone he broke his foot. He needed to

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vastly different, instead of a tree house I dream of a local food system, of healthy environments for our children to grow and learn in, of a natural world that is honored and respected. A lot has changed about my dream world, but what has never changed is the responsibility I feel to be a part of building that world. I’d never heard of Alamosa or the San Luis Valley when I chose to come here, but the mission of La Puente struck me and stayed with me. I was pulled here because of the variety and depth of the programs, the focus on community, the culture of volunteerism, and the natural beauty of this region. But mostly, I was pulled here and inspired by such a large group of people working in partnership, with a responsibility to (and a love of!) building a better world. I wanted to be a part of it. But, what is building a better world? Earlier this year, I asked one of my 1st grade garden class students to explain to me what plants needed to grow. She smiled, excited to know the answer, and said, “Well, soil and water and sun and, well, a whole lot of love, just Jenna working in the gardens like us!” It’s hard to say exactly what a “better world” looks like or how we get there, but by reminding ourselves that our needs don’t stop on the surface and by staying in touch with the love, passion and excitement that drives us to seek a better world, what brought us to La Puente, I trust that we’ll keep moving in the right direction and that the change we build will last.

Visit us at www.lapuente.net 911 State Ave., Alamosa, CO or call La Puente at 719.589.5909


be close to the hospital, and La Puente became his temporary home. He continued living at the shelter for 10 months, after enrolling in the Veteran’s program in 2011. During this time, Calvin remembers having to make a list of goals. On his list for his 5-year goals, he continued dreaming of starting his own business. With his panhandling sign in arm’s reach, Calvin has been selling macramé hemp jewelry on the streets across the US over the last 20 years. His face lights up as he tells stories of all the people he’s met along the way. Calvin wasn’t just selling jewelry, he was also teaching people in the community how to make the macramé jewelry themselves. He was connecting, sharing and learning with the community. He loved the face-to-face connection with the community who supported him, but selling on the streets had its limits. He couldn’t afford the 50% commission rates that retail stores were demanding, and he couldn’t afford to legally register his business. Now, with the help of La Puente’s newest program, Seedme, Calvin is able to move forward and make his dreams a legitimate business. Seedme (Socially Embracing Each Dream, MicroEnterprises) is a social entrepreneurial initiative to help individuals start and sustain micro enterprises in the San Luis Valley. Within La Puente’s four retail locations, Seedme will feature branded merchandising modules that display locally crafted items for sale. Going beyond a typical retail display, Seedme will feature stories of each microenterprise—connecting people with people, rather than simply people with products. As Robert McKee said, “Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the

currency of human contact.” Calvin does not have transportation of his own, but with a full tank of determination and motivation, he hitchhikes 50 miles into Alamosa from his current residency in Crestone, CO. He comes to town every Thursday to meet with Seedme. Each time, he walks into our office entering with a folder of paperwork and a mind overflowing with ideas. By the first week of hearing about working with Seedme, he had begun a business plan and a cash flow statement. With a partnership with Unlimited Possibilities, Seedme was able to give Calvin a micro-loan of $300 to be used to register his business name, ElfinCraft Hempery, as well as order handmade paper beads through Uganda Outreach, a non-profit organization based in Colorado dedicated to helping empower Ugandans to rise out of poverty. ElfinCraft Hempery offers hand-crafted macramé products, with natural and recycled materials. “The jewelry is a symbol of environmental consciousness,” Calvin said. “It’s what’s needed now to bring the community together and to raise children in a non-toxic Some of Calvin’s Work environment.” A simple loan of $300 has empowered Calvin to quickly move his business forward. He is stocking up on anklets, bracelets and necklaces, while beginning to make medicine bags and backpacks. When asked what his overall goal is, Calvin laughs and says, “My overall goal is to hemp the hemp-less. You guys can help the homeless, and I’ll hemp the hemp-less. And eventually I’ll hire a workshop full of hempsters.” In the coming months, look for his products in the La Puente Enterprise locations. For more information about Seedme, contact us at dream@seedmestories.com.

Check out La Puente on the web at www.lapuente.net

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Visit Local Attractions in the San Luis Valley Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Explore over 30 sq. miles of dunes at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mtns. Enjoy good hiking and sledding. Travel east on 160 out of Alamosa to 150. Then go north until the end of the road. (45 min)

Zapata Falls

Take in the beautiful, 50 ft. falls carved out of glacially deposited rocks. There’s a short, easy hike to the falls. The falls are located south of the dunes on 150. Turn at radio tower. (45 min)

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

Enjoy a ride over the La Veta Pass Route between Alamosa and La Veta, CO. The steam engine runs Memorial Day until the end of October. Call 1-877-726-RAIL for ticket information.

Crestone

Five 14,000 ft. peaks are accessible from this stunning mountain town and spiritual community. Travel north on 17. Turn right, just before Moffat at the marked road. (1 hr)

San Luis

San Luis is the oldest town in Colorado. Visit the Stations of the Cross designed by Huberto Maestas. Go east on 160. Turn south on 159. (45 min)

Creede

This old mining town boasts tours of mines, pretty scenery and great hiking. Also, rent gear for snowshoe and cross country skiing. Go west on 160. Then 149 North. (1 1/4 hrs)

San Luis Valley Museum

View artifacts, photographs, antiques, and other treasures from the San Luis Valley community. 401 Hunt Ave in Alamosa.

Stop by the Alamosa Visitors Bureau located at 601 State Ave in Alamosa or call 1-800-BLU-SKYS for more attractions.

Rafting Rafting on the Arkansas runs throughout the summer. There are rafting companies in Salida and Buena Vista. Head N. on 17 to 285, through the Pass. (1 1/2 hrs) Skiing & Snowboarding There are several options for skiing November through March. The closest options are Monarch Ski & Snowboard Area and Wolf Creek: Monarch (www.skimonarch.com) N. on 17 to 285, through pass. W. on 50. (1 1/2 hrs) Wolf Creek (www.wolfcreekski.com) Head west on 160 to Wolf Creek Pass. (1 1/2 hrs) Joyful Journey Hot Springs Soak in one of three built up pools fed by natural hot springs. Call 719.256.4328 for rates. Travel north on 17. Turn right after Moffat. (1 hr) Valley View Hot Springs Five natural hot springs and 3 built up pools filled with hot spring water look out over the valley. Clothing optional. Call for group rates 719.256.4315 North on 17, east on GG (dirt road). (1 1/4 hrs)

Milagros Coffee House 529 Main Street, Alamosa, CO 719.589.9299


Milagros reader print edition