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Making the Española Valley a better place to live in is something that Associate Pastor Raul Archuleta is trying to accomplish through his ministry at New Creations and Christ Ministry Church.
A native of Española, Archuleta said he got called to the ministry a number of years ago and sees a need in the Valley “for something positive, something different.”
In his quest to bring change to his hometown, Archuleta has helped organize “We Believe 2010,” which will be from noon-10 p.m. Aug. 21 at Valdez Park, 313 Paseo de Oñate, in Española.
The event is an alcohol-free, family-oriented, event that will feature live music, a car show, a kids fun zone and food at no charge.
“We started ‘We Believe’ four years ago at the Valley National Bank parking lot,” Archuleta said. “We wanted to have an event that we could invite the community to that would be safe and free. We just really wanted to connect people.”
Archuleta said that when the event first began it didn’t have a name.
“We wanted to have a lot of cool stuff happening, but as we continued, it kind of took on the name, ‘We Believe.’ The idea is that we, as a ministry believe in the people of Northern New Mexico … We’re saying, ‘hey, we’re a small group of people that want to believe in you, in your future and we haven’t given up on you.’ ”
As the event grew, the confines of the Valley National Bank parking lot became too small, so it was moved to Valdez Park.
“It consumes all of Valdez Park,” Archuleta said. “We’ve had thousands of people that have gone through. We’re expecting a really good turnout. It’s not that cheap or that easy, but we want to get the invitation out to all the people of the region.”
Archuleta said the event is free because his ministry is trying to break away from church stereotypes and do something good for the community.
“The church is always in need. We wanted to break that. We’re not asking people for money, they can come without a dime in their pocket,” he said.
The event is funded through a budget from New Creations and Christ Ministry Church parishioners’ donations. Archuleta said the event’s budget is $12,000, and excess costs will be covered by partnerships with local businesses and people who want to be a part of the event.
“We’re reaching out to businesses in the community who want to be a part of it. Everything that comes in is appreciated. Some people have given ketchup, mustard or even bags of onions for the hamburgers,” Archuleta said.
Archuleta said attendees can look forward to free hamburgers, hot dogs and the fixings, as well as non-alcoholic drinks and a kid’s concession. Kids Fun Jump, based in Albuquerque, will bring in 8-9 Jolly Jumpers and face painting will be available.
The Los Alamos Police Department will give out child ID kits and a 20-30 foot climbing wall will be in place.
The bands DS Eclectic of Santa Fe and Cameron Dukes from Oklahoma City will perform.
Food will be served at noon and the car show will get under way at 1 p.m.