NMCF is excited to announce the addition of Valerie Rangel as Community Program Manager! In this part-time role, she will be identifying needs of New Mexico communities, cultivating partnerships, and developing community programs in priority areas of rural economic development, health, and education throughout the state.

Where did you work prior to NMCF?

During 2017, I worked as an experiential educator for the Institute for American Indian Arts, facilitating college and career readiness classes for parents and young adults in Native communities throughout Albuquerque and Santa Fe, as well as in the pueblos of Pojoaque, Jemez, and Cochiti.

I’ve also worked for the New Mexico State Historian, State Archives, and Santa Fe Botanical Garden, as well as taught science classes at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

I’m presently also working part time as an environmental consultant on a Health Impact Assessment (HIA), funded by Con Alma and New Energy Economy, regarding closure of the San Juan Generating Station in northern New Mexico. Also I volunteer as a consultant on the planning committee of the Chaco Greater Coalition’s HIA regarding the fracking near Chaco Canyon.

What inspired you to apply for this role?

In 2016, I worked on a HIA with Dr. Emily Haozous regarding health impacts on the urban Indian community resulting from the underfunding of Indian Health Service. Working with the HIA Advisory Board and gathering data from the community inspired me to continue policy and community planning work in the nonprofit sector.

I have a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and Master’s in Community Regional Planning from UNM.

How long have you lived in New Mexico?

I moved to Albuquerque in January 1999 to attend the University of New Mexico, drawn by the unique opportunity to take flamenco classes and learn Diné Bizaad (the Navajo language). I’ve been captivated and truly enchanted by the clean air, sweet pinon smells, blue skies, farolito Christmases, art, and loving community. New Mexico is the place where I’ve lived the longest; it is not only home, the very land, water, and particles of this place are now part of my body and mental being.

Red or Green?

Preference for red (especially Frontier’s carne adovada)!

It’s Saturday; the sky is blue, and the sun is out in Santa Fe. What are you doing?

Most likely taking a walk along the Santa Fe river or papercutting. I have papercut artwork at True West Gallery and Keep Contemporary art galleries in downtown Santa Fe as well as Masks y Mas in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill.