Good morning, this is your Monday Briefing for March 28, 2022. Quick bites: Alamosa set a record high on Sunday at 73 degrees. Early warning: don’t get fooled this week. Read on.

1 If it feels like a few more folks have moved into the San Luis Valley during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau has the data that verifies the hunch. Recently released figures show population shifts at the county level from 2020 to 2021 – and lo and behold, most of the Valley counties saw an increase, with Conejos, Costilla and Mineral counties showing up among counties nationwide with the largest percentage changes.

There’s been conversation about how COVID has motivated people to relocate to small, less-populated areas. The internet and wifi make this possible. The Census data confirms, at least, that people have been moving around. The data looked at both natural changes in county populations from birth and death occurrences, and population changes from migration of individuals. You can find the figures here.

Alamosa County picked up 185 more residents; Conejos gained 148 people; Costilla was plus 119; Saguache plus 88; and Mineral County gained 57 residents. Rio Grande was the only county that saw a decline, both in its natural rates with more deaths than births and people moving out. Saguache also had more deaths than births, but saw a plus migration with people moving in. Neighboring Huerfano County was also among the leading gainers in counties across the country.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

 Source: U.S. Census Bureau

2 Did you read about Boyd School? You can find our story from the weekend here. The south side of Alamosa is going through one its most substantial changes, with the complete reconstruction of State Avenue, people seeking out the south side to find more affordable rents, and now a substantial new affordable housing development in the San Luis Valley Housing Coalition’s Boyd School project. 

3 There’s a new volunteer organization serving Alamosa County, and its focus is volunteering in the area of food insecurity. It’s called Spark the Change and it’s part of the AmeriCorps senior volunteer program for individuals 55 and over. Local do-gooder Nancy Harris (shown above, at right, with fellow volunteer Jan Oen) is leading the effort. We’ll be writing more about Spark the Change in Alamosa County in the coming week and how to get involved if you’re 55-over and looking for volunteer opportunities.

Jimmy Santiago Baca4 This week, poet Jimmy Santiago Baca visits Adams State for an event commemorating Cesar Chavez Day. Baca will read his poetry at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, in McDaniel Hall 101. The event is free and open to the public. Illiterate upon his arrival to Arizona State Prison, where he landed after being convicted of drug charges in 1973, Baca taught himself to read and write, and began publishing his own poetry while in prison. He’s a graduate of the University of New Mexico. You can hear his full story at Thursday evening’s event.

5 The photograph is of the 10 farmers who will be growing food for the San Luis People’s Market and are part of The Acequia Institute’s Growing a Healthy Community Foodscape initiative. The farmers in the program are Enrique Molina, Jose Molina, Charlie Maestas, Ronnie Cordova, Alonzo Lobato Sr., Alexis Lobato, Amayas Maestas, Carlos Lobato, Huberto Maestas, and Devon Peña. Peña has been spearheading the effort along with Shirley Romero Otero. The San Luis People’s Market is the former R&R Market in San Luis. Here’s our earlier story on the project.

10 farmers who will be growing food for the San Luis People’s

Finally, don’t get fooled. Friday is April Fool’s Day. It’s also the First Friday celebration in downtown Alamosa, a promotion by Visit Alamosa as it works to activate the downtown corridor. Read our earlier story on First Fridays and how it all came together.

Have a great week!

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