Healthy Archuleta Features Community Learning and Leadership Member Stacia Aragon

Photo courtesy of Healthy Archuleta
Stacia Aragon.

By Rose Chavez

Food System/Food Equity Coalition

The Archuleta County Nutrition Security and Health Equity Assessment, which began in December 2021, continues its ongoing work to engage the community through a community learning and leadership circle (CLLC) which meets weekly.

The CLLC is comprised of a diverse group of community members from Archuleta County who have committed to contributing to the design of the assessment during this first phase of the project, which will conclude at the end of June.

CLLC members engage in learning through module presentations facilitated by Healthy Archuleta and partner organizations on the concepts of nutrition security and health equity.

Each week, CLLC members help inform assessment with respect to 1) access and utilization of primary/preventive health care (coverage, timeliness, manpower and services) and 2) the strengthening our community food system (food production, food processing, marketing and distribution, food procurement and preparation, nutritious food consumption, food security, food waste prevention and resource recovery).

A community-based participatory approach will be used to capture the voices and lived experiences of people related to access to food and primary/preventive health care in Archuleta County. Additionally, food and health care organizations will have the opportunity to share information regarding primary/preventive health care and food efforts.

Healthy Archuleta shares individual profiles of CLLC community members who serve their community in this capacity. This week we feature Stacia Aragon, CLLC member and community leader.

1. Health is the new wealth. What does this mean for your health and the health of your family in Archuleta County? “Every day that I wake up I have so many things to be thankful for, and one of them is my health. For me, taking the best care of myself, whether it’s doing exercise, choosing nutritious foods to eat, receiving proper health care, everything is done so that I can be the healthiest version of myself. By doing these things, I am able to give to my family, my friends and my community I am always looking for opportunities to share with others the importance of taking care of our bodies.

2. What are your ties to Archuleta County? “First and foremost is my family. I am blessed beyond measure to have my children, grandchildren and in-laws here. My husband and I have been away from Pagosa for a little over ‘a decade, never thinking we would come back here, but when we came back, I could never imagine ourselves anywhere but here. I love the small family feeling and getting to know so many people and I truly believe that we live in one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado.

3. What do you see as your role within the CLLC for the assessment of nutritional security and health equity? “My role in the CLLC for Nutrition Security and Health Equity Assessment allows me to look for areas that can be improved in our community both in nutrition security and health equity. I have the privilege of working alongside other amazing, like-minded people. When I joined this committee, I came with a very open mind to learn as much as I could about these areas of Archuleta County. My eyes were opened to a great need, and I now realize that I have the ability to get involved in making changes that can significantly help others in my community.

4. What is your vision of a healthy Archuleta? “Healthy Archuleta is an incredible organization that has already implemented wonderful programs in our community that have had a huge impact on life in this community. It would be amazing to see more people get involved in this organization, contributing their skills that can make a difference in the life of someone in need.

5. In your opinion, what is critical in CLLC’s learning and leadership dynamics for this evaluation? “Each member of this committee brings a different set of skills and different life experiences. Knowledge is precious and what better way to acquire it than to listen to the people who are sitting at the same table as you. I ask a lot of questions and I listen too. Everyone at this CLLC brings something special to the table, and my life has been greatly enriched in the short time I’ve had the opportunity to work with them.

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