Success Story: Community Leaders Establish Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation
San Jose Community Center Water Tower
The Eastern Coachella Valley (ECV) has a profound and rich history of civil rights movements and leadership development. Many community residents have been devoted to advocacy, organizing, and leadership to resolve the most challenging issues impacting their community. The role model established by exemplary leadership has created the natural conditions to continue looking for new alternatives, adjusting to new changing environments and introducing new ideas in efforts to seek viable solutions to problems that continue to inflict negatively on the quality of life in the ECV.
The ECV have been successful in producing new generations of Americans that are currently involved in a different array of work in the area of education, health, business, and public service. They are now called to contribute to improve the living conditions of their families and consequently to improve our rural America.
San Jose & Bea Main Community Center youth dancing group
Our community leaders have evolved and developed a new philosophical view where the work of many sectors (and most importantly community participation and leadership) is critical to generate resources. The collaborative work from different stakeholders is considered the foundation of the united work from the community that brings a compelling array of talents, experience, and resources.
The establishment of PUCDC constitutes another success story for the ECV and a catalyst for many successes to come.
The technical assistance program provides training to both park owners and tenants of agricultural housing communities with a maximum of twelve mobile home units on one parcel. These parks are known as “Polanco Parks” which provides a “fast track” option with local planning and permitting agencies state-wide. Our training task is to ensure basic understanding of different on-site systems at these dwelling sites. This is the second most critical component after the rehabilitation of the housing facility is complete. Ongoing training will provide better understanding of the systems’ proper functioning and it is a preventative approach to keep the facility in good working condition, and up to code compliance. The training program is scheduled four times a year. The primary focus is on four courses that promote safety and sustainability.
Introduction to On-site Waste Management
Monitoring and Maintaining a Small Water System
Riverside County, California, Code Compliance
Basic Bookkeeping and Management
Affordable Housing: Pueblo Unido CDC recognizes the challenges of the lack of affordable housing in the eastern Coachella Valley, and has identified three main approaches to preserve and create affordable housing opportunities:
Polanco Rehabilitation Assistance Program (PRAP). This program is tasked with the rehabilitation of existing homes for agricultural workers.
New construction of agricultural worker housing that will increase the supply of availablerental units and addresses the crisis of affordable housing in the area. New housing will include green space for children, small sports fields, and thoughtfully planned community centers to host after school programs, adult education, and recreation and other programs identified by community members.
Migrant agricultural worker housing which addresses the affordable housing needs of guest workers. PUCDC is introducing green building practices to include solar voltaic panels, 3D panels, and low-maintenance landscape that will serve the needs of this population with practicality and good design.
Critical Infrastructure: Pueblo Unido CDC addresses the lack of infrastructure and/or substandard systems at two levels: decentralized and centralized. Projects distant from existing municipal services are designed using on-site wells to provide safe drinking water, fire suppression systems, and on-site septic systems. Pueblo Unido CDC works closely with community members, the local water district, and public agencies to determine the feasibility of extending water and sanitary collection lines to specific neighborhoods as needed.
Economic Development: Pueblo Unido CDC values the entrepreneurial spirit of the community. An increasing number of community members have grown into different trades, such as retail and small farming. These entrepreneurs lack some of the basic skills needed to run businesses efficiently. To respond to this issue Pueblo Unido CDC will network and collaborate with local economic development agencies, state business centers and other technical support organizations to provide training in business management, insurance, legal representation, and financial development. Additionally, Pueblo Unido CDC will create Plazas—the Latino version of farmers markets. It is the overarching intent of Pueblo Unido to diversify local businesses opportunities for the purpose of attracting visitors to the area to stimulate entrepreneurship and create economically vibrant communities.
San Jose & Bea Main Community and Learning Center Grand Opening!
Sergio Carranza, PUCDC’s Executive Director, was interviewed for the KESQ, Palm Desert News Organization, for his work with the San Jose & Bea Main Community Center. To read the article and watch the news story, please click here.
KMIR6 Change Growing from a Garden in Mecca
Pueblo Unido CDC responds to the needs and concerns of underrepresented rural communities of the Eastern Coachella Valley through actively engaging and fostering collaborative efforts among residents and other stakeholders to find viable solutions, leverage critical resources, and bring new opportunities to improve the quality of life for its residents.