During the first 18 months of our existence, we have initiated a number of projects including a sewing cooperative, computer lab, English language classes, used clothing store, kitchen and wood shop. We also sponsored a well attended forum on micro-economic development along the Arizona - Sonora border. this forum was cosponsored by Cochise College.
A major effort has been creating the DPT Center. Located in the colonia, the Center serves as a gathering place, location of DPT board meetings, occasional housing for visiting groups and the place all projects are initiated. The Center is in a rented house. This house required upgraded electrical wiring, heat, phone line and internet connection. We currently are working on providing a cooling system for the hot summer months.
With the assistance of World Care in Tucson, we have set up 10 computers networked to a DSL internet line. The computers are being used by local students for homework. A teacher has been located to provide training and oversight of the computer lab. The goal is to make the lab self-sustaining by charging small fees for education and computer use.
A small separate building in the courtyard of the Center has been converted to a kitchen. The kitchen has been used to provide meals to some groups of volunteers building a local house, and to tour groups. The ladies who do the cooking, serving and cleanup are able to make a fair wage, and a portion of the proceeds go to the Center for support and other projects.
The most recent project has been to outfit a wood shop in the courtyard of the Center. Although many tools are still needed, a teacher has been located and 5 community members have signed up to apprentice in woodworking. There has been considerable interest in contracting with the shop to produce kitchen cabinets and doors. Some garden benches and a patio door have been produced and sold. This project has the potential to be very important to the community. There is enough potential business to expect that some of the current students will eventually set up their own separate shops and be replaced by new students. For further information see the woodshop products page.
Eight women from the community have had training in clothing design and production. They have been equiped with used home sewing machines and two used commercial machines. Besides making clothes and tote bags, they have done some beautiful embroidery work as well. They are available for contract sewing work.