Local historian, David Romo released a press release yesterday announcing the launch of a new non-profit to help revitalize the Duranguito neighborhood. In January, a newly seated city council voted to remove the controversial sports arena out of the Duranguito community. According to preservationists, the controversial arena threated to gentrify the vulnerable community. Since then, the question has been how the neighborhood will recover.
In yesterday’s press release it was announced that Project Regeneración was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit “dedicated to the revitalization of historic barrio communities.” According to the presser, the “non-profit aims to address the needs of residents in Barrio Duranguito and support community led initiatives addressing resident needs, including affordable housing, civic engagement, cultural and historic preservation, educational resources, along with charitable and benevolent purposes.”
A major focus of Project Regeneración will be to facilitate community engagement to help with the restoration of Duranguito. The non-profit seeks to work with neighborhood residents to create and further develop an alternative community-generated plan for the restoration of the neighborhood. The group plans to spearhead projects to create low-income housing, historical heritage sites, and other ways to address the needs of its residents while also promoting the cultural significance of Duranguito. Project Regeneración believes that the direct participation of the southside residents in the decision-making process will be of primary importance for any neighborhood improvement plan, states the press release.
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Board president Carmen Rodríguez issued the following statement: “Barrio communities hold immense historical and cultural significance within our city, representing the heritage and diversity that contribute to our collective identity. However, many of these neighborhoods have encountered various challenges over time, including, systemic displacement, lack of affordable and safe housing, limited access to resources, and the gradual erasure of a community’s cultural and historical fabric. Project Regeneración aims to reverse these trends and preserve these barrios as vibrant, thriving centers for residents and visitors alike.”
The initial board members of Project Regeneración are the president, Carmen Rodriguez with vice-presidents Arturo Bañuelas and David Romo. The secretary of the organization is Monica Garcia and the treasurer is Rai Sarabia. The official announcement for the organization will be made during the screening of the documentary film, Duranguito, at the Alamo Draft House Cinema Montecillo on Tuesday.