Developing a Self-Sustaining Model for La Colorada’s Community Center

One of St. Anthony’s Alliance’s most important tasks is developing a sustainable model for the Community Center at La Colorada. This year, St. Anthony’s Alliance and the people of La Colorada took an important step towards sustainability by creating a “civil association,” the Mexican legal equivalent of a 501 (C) 3 or not-for-profit organization.

The problem was simple. In order for the Community Center to become self-sustaining without support from St. Anthony’s Alliance, it needed to become a nonprofit organization. It was built during the 1990s with donated funds and donated labor and it has become the heart of the village of La Colorada. It provides a low-cost breakfast program, scholarships, a library and public meeting spaces, but it lacked a legal way to raise funds to support those services.   An attorney in San Miguel de Allende who is an expert on forming civil associations helped write the bylaws for the civil association, which is called La Colorada Unida Para Una Vida Mejor (La Colorada United for a Better Life.)

The people voted on a president and secretary both capable women from La Colorada and a local, five-person board of directors who will be responsible for evaluating and maintaining the programs most important to the community. A separate board of directors will be recruited from outside La Colorada to raise money, host events and rally others to support the programs of the Community Center. San Miguel enjoys a large community of retired ex-patriots from the United States and elsewhere who have already served on nonprofit boards or donated money to worthy causes. In the future, a spirit of community service will sustain the Community Center.