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10 • NOVEMBER 2017

Mountain Music



Palomas Residents Still in Need

New & Used Musical Instruments Consignments Trade-Ins 2330 S. Valley Drive

Lending a helping hand


M-F 10AM - 6PM • SAT 10AM - 5PM • SUN 10AM - 2PM

SNOWDENEXTERMINATING EXTERMINATING N Serving Southwest New Mexico since 1951

PO Box 230, Deming, NM 88031

Deming 575-546-9052 Silver City 575-388-9300 Las Cruces 575-526-9300 FAX 575-546-8307 Toll Free 1-800-471-9052

Corner Florida & Columbus Hwy. PO Box 191, Deming NM 88031 (575) 546-3922

DEMING ART CENTER 100 South Gold, Deming, NM Mon thru Sat 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

November Exhibit Exhibit: Recycle Show November 1 through November 29 Sponsored by Keep Luna County Beautiful. Prizes will be awarded by Keep Luna County Beautiful for 1st and 2nd place winners in each age group and for best in show. Reception: Sunday November 5, 2017 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Deming Arts Center Book Signing by Bob Rockwell during the reception. Entries accepted from all ages from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Tuesday, October 30, 2017 There are no entry fees. Three pieces will be accepted. All pieces must be made from at least 90 percent recycled materials.

Deming Arts Center, 100 S Gold St, Deming NM 88030

575-546-3663 Check us out on Facebook

This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs

ovember is traditionally the month when this column gives readers information on how to donate money to help poor people in Palomas. This year is no exception. The level of hunger in Palomas has basically stayed the same in the few years that the PROSPERA foodstamps-type program has been spreading through the town. But the level may be higher than what I’ve understood it to be in the past, according to some people involved in social programs. Contributions to non-profit organizations are always sorely needed. The Comedor Comunitario, or community kitchen, in Palomas is near the public library, a good central location. There were just a couple groups of people eating at the tables when I visited. A few female volunteers are cooking and serving. I talked to one of the volunteers, Maria Concepcion Bencomo, from across the counter. She tells me the kind of people who come to the Comedor and mostly old people and migrantes — the term they tend to use for the deportees who are in reverse migration from the United States and who often are broke. The number of deportees in Palomas has not risen, especially under Trump. The Comedor has two shifts, one in the morning and one at noon. The recipients are required to pay 50 cents for what is a good healthy meal. The day I was there the meal included mashed spinach leaves that looked like guacamole and a mango drink. The place is funded by federal money, through the SEDESOL program (Secretariat for Social Development). I wondered aloud if they could use a donated van, and Maria said yes. “There are a lot of people who can’t get here,” she said. Her hope is to be able to bring meals to the homes of elderly people in wheelchairs or immobilized in some other way. A truck could serve this purpose as well as a van. If an individual, a church, or some other organization would like to donate a vehicle to the Comedor Comunitario, they can contact me at (I was told that the vehicle should have 4 cylinders, because gas is expensive in Palomas these days — about $4 per gallon.) On Oct. 14 hundreds of Palomas residents milled around the Terrazas San Vicente, a large center for public events. This was a meeting for families getting assistance from Alas de Amor, a scholarship program for school children created by Casa de Amor, an orphanage on the

Elisa Morales sweeps beside the Iglesia la Hermosa in Palomas. (Photo by Marjorie Lilly)

west side of town. Children who are part of the program sat in a chair holding up a piece of white cardboard with their name printed on it so a woman could snap their photos for IDs. Donations for this excellent program, which pays for tuition and school implements, can be sent to: Casa de Amor para Niños, 40 Camino de Verdad, Santa Fe, NM, 87505. Pastors of churches associated with Casa de Amor were also at the meeting. These had received portions of the donations requested by this column a year ago. Three of the pastors all said they had spent the donation on a Christmas dinner open to everyone. They all had between 100 and 200 people attending. The dinner fed the spirit as well as the body and lit up people’s lives for a while. Those who would like to contribute to these churches this year can send a check to Casa de Amor Para Ninos at the same address shown above. Please clearly indicate where the money should go. As much as the PROSPERA program has helped people, there are still problems. David Hassey of the Iglesia Nazareno is one of the pastors that Casa de Amor has worked with for 13 years. In his level-headed way Hassey estimated that only half the people in need of food in Palomas were actually being helped by the federal program PROSPERA. It should be mentioned that for a while PROSPERA has been paying clients in cash, so they are free to buy anything they need. One problem, Hassey said, is that if recipients don’t make it to the small classes on handling finances required of them, they are kicked out of the program. Another problem is that after the 2 or 3 years the program has been widespread, PROSPERA has stopped accepting new clients, at least for a while. Hassey said that a lot of people near Terrazas San Vicente

hear about the meetings for registration for benefits, and they “crowd into this place while people on the outskirts of town don’t come.” A mother of two from the far west side of town, Norma Casillas, said that sometimes the man who advertises the meetings at San Vicente from a loudspeaker on his truck doesn’t drive on every street. Some people don’t get the message. She says other people where she lives spend little time near the center of town where signs for the meeting are put in supermarket windows. Hassey said the first step PROSPERA should take is to “do a census first, going from house to house,” instead of advertising the way they usually do. To help compensate for the gaps in the program, you can make a donation to the Comedor Comunitario. Please write out a check to Border Partners with a “Comedor Comunitario” written legibly on it. The address is 406 South Granite Street, Deming, NM, 88030. By the way, there is some very good news coming out of Palomas right now. A factory for Compass Manufacturing Services is getting ready to open its doors some time in November. This is what everyone has palpably been waiting for since another factory in the same building shut down close to a decade ago. Eventually the business may employ 400 people. Even though the salaries are low, this will go a long way in solving the problem of hunger in Palomas. Kudos to the year-long mayor, Ramon Rodriguez. Compass has a factory on Atlantic Avenue in Deming. It provides manufacturing, engineering, and design services and has multiple facilities in Silicon Valley and in the northwestern and southwestern United States. Borderlines columnist Marjorie Lilly lives in Deming.

Desert Exposure - November 2017  
Desert Exposure - November 2017