Earth Care was founded in 2001. Our mission is to educate and empower young people, families and community members to create healthy, just, and sustainable communities.
Some of our accomplishments over the year include:
- Provide sustainability education for at least 2,000 K-12 students in the Santa Fe Public Schools through environmental, food & health, social justice and service learning lessons.
- Provide service-placements to 27 young people ages 17-35 - these Service Members support the work of over a dozen nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and schools in northern New Mexico. Our Earth Care service members help us to provide our sustainability education services, provide at least 750 community members with hunger relief services, and more than 800 children and adults with training in healthy lifestyles and sustainable living.
- Train 35 young people from Native, Hispano, Latinx, Low-Income and other diverse backgrounds in leadership and social change through our Youth Allies Leadership Training Program.
- Support youth organizers and their youth-led projects & campaigns that address social and ecological issues with real-world solutions. Examples of campaigns and projects include the Santa Fe Chapter of Food Not Bombs, Art & Social Change events, the ban on plastic bags, Climate action rallies and marches and many many more. Every year our youth decide what matters to them and we train and support them as they put their skills, knowledge, and creativity to use in service of positive social change.
- Provide resources and events that engage thousands of northern New Mexicans - across generations with opportunities to stand up, take action alongside our youth leaders, and make a positive difference in the community to improve environmental and social conditions.
Earth Care was started over 15 years ago by two young adults - who travelled around the country participating in environmental movement gatherings and noticed that young people were not at the table. Christina and Taylor Selby decided to start an organization dedicated to opening up spaces for young people and young adults to not only participate - but lead. Earth Care has had many different programs over the years including summer camps, a youth-run coffee house, the Sustainable Santa Fe Annual Resource Guide, and sustainability education teacher training institutes for public school professionals. The common thread has been the empowerment of young people and the connection between ecological health and social justice.
In 2006, Earth Care worked with the Santa Fe Mountain Center's Native American Emergence Program and ENLACE to launch a program dedicated to training young activists in cross-cultural leadership, community organizing, sustainable living, and social justice. Youth Allies was born. The express purpose of the program was to change the face of leadership in northern New Mexico and address equity issues in leadership opportunities for youth from underserved communities.
In 2013, Earth Care's long-time Program Director Bianca Sopoci-Belknap who cofounded Earth Care's Youth Allies and Earth Care Cadre Programs took the helm of the organization as a whole & worked with a team of alumni to remake the organization from the ground up to better reflect the values and lessons learned from its cornerstone programs. With a deep commitment to equity and social justice the staff and board were energized with membership from program alumni, youth advocates, seasoned social change-agents, nonprofit gurus, and members of the diverse communities Earth Care serves.
The current staff: Victoria Atencio, Karen Rencountre, Mariajose Ugalde, Bianca Madrid, Nicole Jaramillo, Ashley Zappe, Mary Ann Maestas, Emily Ewing, Ruby Lopez and Bianca Sopoci-Belknap work using a shared-leadership model.