Healthy Archuleta features Laurie Gutierrez, Community Learning and Leadership Fellow

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 identify questions as a result of their participation in these learning sessions. These questions are then used to inform assessment with respect to 1) access and utilization of primary/preventive health care (coverage, timeliness, workforce and services) and 2) 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.

Starting this week, Healthy Archuleta will share individual profiles of CLLC community members who serve their community in this capacity. This week, we feature CLLC member and long-time community member Laurie Guitierrez:

1. Health is the new wealth. What does this mean for your health and the health of your family in Archuleta County? “Health is the new wealth means that money is not the only reason for happiness. Health is nurtured by lifestyle, security, love and spirituality. Personally, my family and I find the richness of having a community where we are stable and safe. Where we have access to the food we want to eat, the trails we want to walk, and the areas we can explore. Health is not always measured or compared to wealth. I have always considered myself rich, not in money but in culture, family, friends and opportunity.

2. What are your ties to Archuleta County? “I am a multi-generational native of Pagosa. I was born in Durango, Colorado, like many of us Pagosa natives. I have lived in the area all my life. I tried to live in other places, but as the old saying goes, ‘There’s no place like home.’ My mother, father, sister and brother and their families still live in the area. We are surrounded by our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. My husband and I raised our three daughters here in my hometown because it’s small, safe, and we’re surrounded by family and friends.

3. What do you see as your role within the CLLC for the assessment of nutritional security and health equity? “My role for the nutrition security and health equity assessment is to contribute my knowledge of the community and resources, as well as help inform other CLLC members and community partners with information that they can ignore. I also bring my voice, my cultural sensitivity and my conscience.

4. What is your vision for a healthy Archuleta? “My vision for Healthy Archuleta is to include the community as a whole. I would like to see members of the community understand what Healthy Archuleta has to offer them and participate in any programs or opportunities that Healthy Archuleta offers.

5. In your opinion, what is critical in CLLC’s learning and leadership dynamics for this evaluation? “It is essential to have a variety of community members from different backgrounds, cultures and economic status leading the CLLC and assisting in the evaluation. This diversity of CLLC will capture our community and improve the outcome of the assessment.

For more information on the Health Assessment, please contact us at [email protected] or call (401) 371-3227. To donate to support the work of Healthy Archuleta, please visit our website,

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