Donate-a-Dime Organization of the Month: NM Immigrant Law Center

By Jennifer Landau

Editor’s Note: Over the past weeks, my email inbox as well as the mainstream and alternative news outlets have been flooded with scenes of great human distress, loss, fear and suffering as millions of people flee both economic and physical violence. It rests with all of us to rise to a higher level of justice, tolerance and compassion. Given what seems to be one of the world’s great modern migrations, it seems more than appropriate to acknowledge and support the work of our New Mexico Immigrant Law Center.

Founded in 2010, the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center is dedicated to preventing separation of immigrant families. In addition to ensuring family unity, we seek to strengthen immigrant families by advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. We envision a New Mexico in which all people – regardless of their race, immigration, or economic status – have equal access to justice, as well as access to education, government resources, and economic opportunities, and are able to engage fully in the civic and economic life of our neighborhoods and community.

Access to high-quality immigration services provided by NMILC enables immigrants to obtain legal status that can lead to better jobs, access to credit and bank accounts, reunification with family members, access to healthcare, increased educational opportunities for children and adults, and full participation in the civic life of our neighborhoods and communities. While gaining immigration status brings a certain level of economic and family stability, naturalization creates opportunities for newcomers to fully participate in the civic life of their communities.

Over the years we have become a leader in deportation defense, asylum, and humanitarian defense for survivors of crimes and children. We have served hundreds of New Mexican families, trained law students and volunteer attorneys, and presented at numerous public events and Continuing Legal Education programs. We have built a team of four attorneys, full-time Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Public Allies volunteers, numerous law and Latin American studies interns, and community volunteers.

We work on collaborative efforts to provide bundled services in tandem with community partners that address other barriers to increasing earning and asset development for immigrant families. With this strategy we are able to have a greater impact on the families that we collectively serve. Because we recognize the legal needs of immigrant families are intertwined with social service, health, and educational barriers, we have Pathways Navigators that assist our clients with psychosocial, medical, economic, and educational barriers by connecting them to existing services and support networks in the community.

Because we are the only legal service provider in the state to offer assistance to families facing deportation, the need for our services has been tremendous. We have discovered that many of the families facing deportation would have been on a path to citizenship if they had proper legal information when they were children. As a result, we developed a preventative legal model working in strategic partnership with schools and organizations that provide social and medical services to immigrant children and their families. Our goal is to expand access to education and services.

We are honored to be the Donate-a-Dime Organization of the Month. Please shop at La Montañita Co-op and donate your bag credit to help us continue to provide these services.

Shop & Save a Bundle

You Own It! This month is Volume Discount Month, and the more you spend, the more you save. Save up to 20% on a one-time shopping trip of your choice throughout October—just let your cashier know when you would like to redeem it.

$0.00 – $74.99 and receive a 10% Discount
$75.00 – $174.99 and receive a 15% Discount
$175 + and receive a 20% Discount

Happy Shopping!

Klean Kanteen Sale at Nob Hill

For the entire month of October, you can pick up a Klean Kanteen 20oz insulated bottle from our Nob Hill location for 20% off! They’re terrific for storing both hot and cold drinks, and Nob Hill has a variety of different colors to choose from. Kealn Kanteen bottles are BPA-free and made from a food grade stainless steel. Come by La Montañita Co-op in Nob Hill this month and pick up one of these great reusable bottles at a 20% discount! They make a great holiday gift, too.

Symphony of the Soil Screening in Santa Fe

“Most of the planet is not living—it’s mineral. It’s never known life; it’s just this rock. And yet soil starts forming on it, and creates this very thin layer where life is possible. Soil is the interface between biology and geology: the living skin of the earth.”


La Montañita Co-op is proud to sponsor a screening of the critically-acclaimed documentary, Symphony of the Soil, at the Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque in Santa Fe on Friday September 25th at 7:30pm. Additionally, the Co-op cordially invites you to join director Deborah Koons Garcia in person for a discussion after the film.

Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is a feature-length documentary and an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time.

Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet. The film has received numerous awards and critical acclaim since its release, and it was recently shown at the US Capitol and later at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City for World Soil Day, which launched 2015 as the UN International Year of Soils. The film has also been incorporated into the teaching curriculum at over 250 schools and universities like Cornell, MIT, Brown and Vassar. The US Forest Service and the US Department of Agriculture have also used it for educational purposes.

Prior to making Symphony of the Soil, filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia directed the groundbreaking film The Future of Food (2004), which examines the alarming issues surrounding the rapidly increasing corporate domination of our food supply. It was the first major film to cover the history and technology of genetic engineering and the complex implications of releasing such crops into the food environment and food supply, and the film helped jumpstart what is now called the food movement.

Following the film, La Montañita Co-op and CCA are honored to welcome Director Deborah Koons Garcia for a community discussion on the subjects the film documents so engagingly and our ability to help heal ourselves and our planet. Join La Montañita Co-op for a screening of this beautifully inspiring and informative film at CCA on Friday, September 25 at 7:30pm.

For more info or to purchase tickets for Symphony of the Soil, please call the Center for Contemporary Arts at 505-982-1338 or visit: For more info on the film, please visit:

Donate-a-Dime Organization of the Month: Zia Family Focus Center

Every month, La Montañita sponsors a local community-based organization through our Donate-a-Dime bag program.

By Sandra Marroquin-Evans

Zia Family Focus Center (ZFFC) is not just a before and after school enrichment program for children and families. It is a unique program that exists on the campus of an Albuquerque area public school that believes “family” means more than just the home. It extends to friends, neighbors, businesses, and institutions that work together to create a positive place to live.

The mission of the Zia Family Focus Center is to provide an after school enrichment program in a safe, nurturing, and fun environment for the children it serves at minimal costs for families. Our core values upon which we operate and hope to instill in the youth that we serve include: integrity, responsibility, individuality, appreciation for diversity, self-worth and appreciation for the community around us.

ZFFC is a non-profit organization with a volunteer Board of Directors that works closely with local businesses and organizations such as La Montanita Co op, offering both employment and volunteer opportunities as well as family-oriented community events.

For 20 years, the Zia Family Focus Center primarily received funding from Bernalillo County, but this unfortunately came to an end last May. We are working diligently to secure other financial support so that we can continue to provide these much-needed activities.

Despite the fact that we currently have very limited funding, we are continuing to provide a quality enrichment program for local youth and families. As a small non-profit, ZFFC hires a diversity of local community members including artists, musicians, dancers, fitness instructors and other cultural creatives and academics to bring their expertise and passion to the children and families that are engaged in the programs. The Family Focus Center also provides learning experiences for both children and adults to volunteer in the classroom and other events such as the Fall Festival, Talent Shows, and Silent Auctions. We also provide high quality tutoring and academic enrichment.

Enrichment classes include:

  • Flamenco,
  • Ballet,
  • Karate,
  • Acting,
  • Lego building,
  • Jazz and Creative Movement,
  • Archery,
  • Capoeira,
  • Sewing,
  • Art Classes,
  • Tap Dance,
  • Soccer League,
  • Piano,
  • Guitar,
  • Intro to Sports,
  • Homework Assistance,
  • Basketball,
  • Gardening and Science,
  • and much more!

The Program also offers day camps during Albuquerque Public School breaks.

Happening this Fall:
The Fifth Annual Fall Festival is Saturday, October 24, from 5 to 9 pm. The Fall Festival is one of the Family Focus Center’s big events and one where much volunteer help needed.  The Fall Festival is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come and enjoy carnival games and to walk through the Family Center as it gets turned into an enchanted forest filled with many surprises, some not so pleasant as we encounter characters from fairly tales. The festival brings the whole family together to enjoy in a safe and fun environment.

On December 11 from 5-7pm, join us for our Winter Talent Show and Silent Auction. The talent show and silent auction is a time to celebrate the end of the semester and showcase all that the children have learned. Enjoy performances in ballet, flamenco, theatre, music, and much more. The event is combined with a silent auction which gives the community a wonderful way to support the Family Focus Center as they shop for the holiday gifts.

How to Support the Family Focus Center
There are many ways you can support and make a difference in the lives of the community members the Family Focus Center serves. Sponsors are needed for events, classes or student scholarships.  Volunteer in classes, offer office support or help before, during or after events, and donations of all kinds including financial, your time and energy, and office supplies are always welcome.

For more information, to enroll children in our program, volunteer, or to make a donation, contact us at 505-260-6106, email, or got to

We are honored to be the Bag Donation Organization of the Month. This month thanks for bringing a bag when you shop for your groceries at the Co-op and donating the dime. When you do, you are supporting two wonderful community organizations, the Zia Family Focus Center and La Montañita Co-op.

YUM. YUM. YUM. Peach-a-licious!

Look for delicious organic peaches fresh from Palisade, Colorado, in stores now! Rancho Durazno organic peaches come from a Colorado valley famous for its fruit.


FoodShed Harvest: Rancho Durazno Peaches

By Robin Seydel

Again this year we are pleased to be working with Rancho Durazno Farm to bring you the very best certified organic peaches. Last year, Thomas was happy to announce that his daughter Gwen was coming back to help run the farm. In late June, Gwen said, “I’ve only been here full-time for three months and every day I am learning new things—like how not to drive over the sprinkler system! I immerse myself in the new work. It’s different; I had been working on a computer everyday—now I get to work with my hands, outside, on a variety of interesting projects.”

Over the years, the Co-op has grown its sales of Rancho Durazno peaches. The Cameron father-and-daughter team agree this is another great peach year and their trees are on track for a full crop of the tastiest peaches you will ever eat.

Located in Palisade, Colorado, Rancho Durazno’s orchards are surrounded by wild lands, desert cliffs and slopes. The warm sunny days, cool nights and just the right amount of precipitation make their farm one of the best sites in a valley famous for its peaches.

Rancho Durazno means “peach farm” in Spanish and as a mature orchardist, the importance of sustainability is not lost on Thomas. He has been building his orchards on his 40 acres for 33 years with care and dedication, and the joy of passing that labor of love onto his daughter is evident in his voice as he says, “It just keeps growing and growing and getting better and better each year. It’s really wonderful!”

Just as each field is passing onto the next generation of trees, so too is this sustainable family farm, with daughters involved and a skilled staff, who, as Thomas says “are the next wave of farm leaders.”

The Co-op Distribution Center (CDC) has been purchasing pallet loads of Rancho Durazno peaches since 2007; this year and for many years to come, the Distribution Center is looking forward to having some 60,000 pounds of Rancho Durazno peaches pass through the warehouse and out into the community.

The CDC will be purchasing all the varieties as they ripen from earliest to latest, including: Redhaven, a historically predominant variety, and the earliest-ripening peach worth putting up; Newhaven, a variant of Redhaven that ripens three days later; Regina with its outstanding flavor and eating qualities; the classic and delicious Elberta; Cresthaven, a great eating, canning and freezing peach; and close to a dozen other varieties that ensure the longest and tastiest harvest.

Gwen again: “I am learning what the farm is doing now—learning what to expect next year and five years down the road. It was really great to visit La Montañita as part of the Wallace Center Food-Hub educational day. I had heard about La Montañita but really didn’t know that much about all you are doing. I was pleasantly surprised that you are doing such wonderful work on a lot of levels. I am so glad we have been working with you and I look forward to working together for a long time.”

Share in a celebration of sustainable regional farming and food.  Look for Rancho Durazno peaches throughout August and hopefully well into September at all Co-op locations.

Santa Fe Co-op BBQ

Join us this Friday, August 14 from 11:30am-2pm for a delicious summer barbeque! We’ll be firing up the grill to serve tender grass-fed beef burgers (veggie options also available), and all proceeds will go toward the Santa Fe Horse Shelter: a sanctuary for New Mexico’s abandoned, abused, and neglected horses that are rehabilitated and adopted out whenever possible. So come on out, grab some grub, and support a great cause!

Donate-a-Dime Organization of the Month: Girls on the Run

Every month, La Montañita sponsors a local community-based organization through our Donate-a-Dime bag program.

Girls on the Run: Empowering Girls to Activate Their Limitless Potential

By Alice Temple and Dana Beyal

Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a national non-profit with affiliates in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. We envision a New Mexico where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

Academic assessments of Girls on the Run participants indicate a significant positive impact on program participants. Evaluations have found that our curricula improve girls’ self-esteem, body size satisfaction, and physical activity behaviors.

Girls on the Run Santa Fe (GOTRSF) is entering our 10th year of business with a recent expansion to Rio Arriba County! We had our biggest season ever with more than 185 girls showing up at the Santa Fe Plaza, on May 16th, to run their first 5 kilometer race, in spite of a rainy and cold day. A locally operated non-profit GOTRSF serves girls in 3rd through 8th grade. Over the years, over 1400 girls have participated in this volunteer organization. We believe that every girl can embrace who she is, can define who she wants to be, can rise to any challenge, can change the world. To participate or for more information for GOTR in Santa Fe or Rio Arriba counties please contact Alice Temple at Alice Temple or call her at 505-660-2972.

Girls on the Run Rio Grande (GOTRRD) offers a 10-week after school curriculum for 3rd-5th grade girls that innovatively weaves training for a 5k run with lessons that empower girls to celebrate their bodies, honor their voices and embrace their gifts. At each season’s conclusion, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5k running event. This culminating celebratory event is the moment when the girls realize that the seemingly impossible is possible. Girls on the Run inspires girls to stay true to themselves and live free from societal stereotypes.

Girls on the Run Rio Grande has been serving Bernalillo and Valencia Counties for four years. Last season we had programs at three schools in Belen and one school in Albuquerque. We hope to expand to someday serve every elementary school in our counties.

We fundraise year-round to give our girls scholarships to participate in our program. GOTRG also sponsors an adult running program, Solemates, to help raise money for our program. We strive never to turn any girl away due to inability to pay.

We can always use donations or volunteerscoaches, board members, and event staff. If you’d like more information, please visit our website or contact Dana Beyal at 916-9073; email: or

In August, your Donate the Dime Bag Credit will be shared between Girls on the Run Santa Fe and Girls on the Run Rio Grande: Empowering Girls to stay true to themselves and activate their limitless potential.

Veteran Farmer Project on the News!

The Veteran Farmer Project was on KRQE News 13! Click here to watch if you missed it.

Come see our beautiful produce at the VA Growers’ Market every Wednesday from 9am to 12pm. And join us at the farm on the Rio Grande Community Farm Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am-10am for gardening fun, education and camaraderie. While the project is geared towards veterans, everyone is welcome!

For more information, contact Robin at 217-2027 or

Time’s Running Out

If you haven’t voted for La Montañita Co-op in Albuquerque The Magazine’s Best of the City 2015, for Best Health Food Store, at, do it today! Voting closes Aug. 1.

Last year, we were in the Top Five for Best Health Food Store. Let’s go for NUMBER ONE! After all, we are New Mexico’s largest community-owned natural and organic food market. Tell everyone, “we’re Best of the City!”