Author: Sylvia Brenner NM State Parks Staff
COLUMBUS — Intensely combing the border villages of Columbus and Palomas, Mexico, six University of New Mexico graduate students recently spent an intensive two weeks compiling a detailed map of the area and a listing of each village's assets.
"It is unanimous that the people here are warm and welcoming and that's something we will take back with us," said UNM graduate student Nubia Collaros.
The post-graduate "Border Planning Studio" class, facilitated by Dr. David Hinkle, Jr., director of Community and Regional Planning Program at UNM School of Architecture and Planning, utilized
"All of the students are bilingual," Hinkle said, adding the class was held in a very compressed time frame — two weeks instead the usual sixteen weeks.
"But being here in
An open house was recently held at the
"In Palomas, we held a strategy session with business leaders, government, education and environmental officials," Hinkle said. "From my perspective, there was a great deal of warm sharing and first class work by members of the team."
The international boundary physically divides Columbus and Palomas but the two communities share economics, education and history. Hundreds of children from Palomas attend
The two communities have a shared history since the early 20th century when Pancho Villa headed north and raided the village and Columbus military base.
As the two communities continue to grow, the cross-border connections strengthen and become more apparent, Hinkle added.