Spanish Fiesta raises funds for Archuleta Seniors Inc., youth scholarships


By Rose Chavez | PREVIEW Columnist

During the 21st annual Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta that took place this past July 29, community members of all ages joined together with Archuleta Seniors Inc. (ASI) to celebrate the rich Hispanic, Native and Anglo heritage of Archuleta County with music, libations, dancing, vendors, color and more. 

Along with all the wonderful memories made, more than $20,000 was raised to benefit the older adults of Archuleta County, along with 15 percent of net proceeds — or just over $3,000 — going into the newly established Intergenerational Fiesta Hispanic and BIPOC Scholarship Fund. 

Scholarships specifically for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) or Hispanic youth going on to education beyond high school were part of fundraising historically by the Hispanic community. There have not been scholarships dedicated exclusively to BIPOC or Hispanic youth in Archuleta County since at least 2006. Those under 18 who come from underserved families are approximately 17 percent, or 663 youth, who could compete for the scholarships. Re-establishing the scholarship program helps support the educational aspirations of these youth.

ASI proposed to collaborate with the community because the path forward is intergenerational, the essence being our elderly community members working with our younger community members (i.e., students) to create the future by investing in education for the underserved from our county.

In the past, Spanish Fiestas were one of the ways funds were raised for the scholarships. The Spanish Fiesta is not new, but was re-established after a 20-year hiatus this year. The Spanish Fiestas educate the public on the history and diversity of Indigenous/native and early settlers in this region, most of which exists in oral history, songs and sayings. Most important has been the inclusion of school-age residents to participate in the fiesta and to be awarded scholarships for their efforts.

Several Archuleta County entities and individuals had interest in re-establishing this annual event, but the explosive growth in the county in the last 20 years diverted resources and attention. ASI was successful in bringing all those individuals and entities together to form the Spanish Fiesta Committee in January. ASI has agreed to cover the upfront costs of the 2023 and future fiestas and will share the proceeds with the scholarship program.

In addition to the funds raised during the 21st annual Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta, Executive Director Rose Chavez applied on behalf of ASI to the La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) Roundup Foundation board for an additional $2,000. On Monday, Aug. 28, the LPEA Roundup Foundation board announced that it would fully fund ASI Spanish Fiesta Committee Intergenerational Fiesta Hispanic and BIPOC Scholarship Fund. With these additional funds, the committee is now set to award five $1,000 scholarships for the 2024 school year. 

The ASI Spanish Fiesta Committee is inviting community members to help form the Intergenerational Fiesta Hispanic and BIPOC Scholarship Fund committee this fall and winter. This committee will be instrumental in determining the criteria for the scholarships and promoting the scholarship fund to the community to generate applicants from amongst individuals seeking higher education opportunities. If you are interested, please contact executive director Rose Chavez at for more information and additional details. 

New Monday music

Enjoy pleasant soft-rock songs from the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, as well as international folk, humor and new music, too. 

Dr. Erika Sueker has been playing music since 1967, teaching music since 1978 and working with older adults since 1983. Join the lunchtime fun upcoming Mondays.

Senior conversations

Join us Wednesdays at 1:15 p.m. for a series of “Senior Conversations” with local Bill Salmansohn. 

He will lead the group through mindfulness exercises and discussion of various topics pertaining to aging in Archuleta County. Explore and discover for yourself answers to your questions and concerns. 

The meeting will be held in the Senior Center in the dining hall. Snacks will be provided.

Share lunch Monday through Thursday

Join us at the Silver Fox’s Den, aka the Community Cafe, in person for daily hot/cold meals Mondays through Thursdays at the Community Center between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. It is open to all. Pickup is available all week, including Fridays. 

Our dining hall is open to all ages and welcomes you all with kindness and warmth. We provide hot/cold meals for anyone in the community interested in a nutritious and delicious meal. For those 60 or older we request a suggested donation of $10, but no one will be turned away. There is a $10 charge for guests under the age of 60. 

Meals include a main course, side dish, fruit/dessert, garden salad plus beverage. Some popular menu items include Frito chili pie, pork tenderloin with harvest chutney, Singaporean pork ribs, vegetarian lasagna, Hawaiian shrimp with coconut rice and always a beautiful green salad. Many of our items are locally sourced and organic. 

Our chef works with a team of local food professionals to hand-prepare your meal for dine-in service in our cozy dining room (with an amazing view of the San Juans) or for takeout (via our convenient drive-through). Our menu changes daily. 

To reserve your meal for the day, please make your reservation via text or phone call to (970) 264-2167 by 9 a.m. weekdays.

Community Cafe menu

Thursday, Sept. 7 — Stuffed portabella mushroom cap, naan bread, red pepper hummus, carrot cake, garden salad, fruit,and milk.

Friday, Sept. 8 — Grilled turkey, Swiss and tomato sandwich; sweet potato fries; garden salad; fruit; and milk.

Monday Sept. 11 — Chicken Dijon, asparagus, garden salad, strawberry-rhubarb crisp and milk.

Tuesday, Sept. 12 — Beef stuffed bell peppers, Parmesan zucchini, focaccia bread, garden salad, fruit and milk.

Wednesday, Sept. 13 — Chipotle-lime crusted baked tilapia, brown rice, garden salad, fruit salad and milk.

Thursday, Sept. 14 — Harvest chicken salad wrap, macaroni salad, garden salad, fruit and yogurt, and milk.

Friday, Sept. 15 — Vegetable lasagna, garlic bread, garden salad, fruit, carrot cake and milk.

Grab-N-Go meals

Dine-in and Grab-N-Go meal reservations and cancellations are required. Please call or text by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you want to pick up a meal. A suggested donation of $10 helps to sustain our program. No one will be turned away for their inability to donate. Please call or text us at (970) 264-2167 to make a reservation.

Meals on Wheels

We deliver fresh Meals on Wheels five days a week (and provide frozen Meals on Wheels for weekends) to homebound Archuleta County residents. Call or text us at (970) 264-2167.

Mobile food pantry
service discontinued

The Mobile Food Pantry Service has been discontinued due to funding shortages. Older adults needing a ride to a local food pantry should contact the MET to schedule a ride with its paratransit service. For more information, contact Lavonne at (970) 264-2250.

Text reservations

Don’t forget that we offer a convenient texting service for you to communicate with us. Text us at (970) 264-2167. When texting, please include your name, phone number and the days you want a meal. If you are canceling a reservation, please include your name, phone number and the days you want to cancel. 

Texting services are available for dine-in meal reservations, Grab-n-Go meals and Meals on Wheels recipients.

COVID-19 test
kits available

Stop by the Senior Center to pick up a pack of six free COVID-19 tests kits for your personal use. These kits are available to anyone in the public who needs affordable access for health promotion and disease prevention.


Mahjong is a 19th century Chinese tile-based game that is commonly played with four players. Each player receives 13 tiles with a goal to make matching sets and pairs (like poker). To win, a player must form four sets and one pair. 

Come to the Senior Center to learn or play every Tuesday at 1:15 p.m.

Medicare call by

For anyone who needs help enrolling and navigating Medicare plans, the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging helps with parts A, B and D. They can also help you with fraud concerns and troubleshooting any billing issues you may be having. By appointment only. Please call the Medicare line at (970) 264-0501, ext 4. 


The longest-played bridge game in Archuleta County takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:15 p.m. 

Bridge is a four-player card game with partners sitting opposite each other around a table. It is a trick-taking card game using a standard 52-card deck. Come alone or bring a partner.

Hand and foot card game

Whether you are new to hand and foot or interested in learning, please join us most Thursdays at 1:15 at the Senior Center. 

This card game involves four rounds of playing until the final round is reached — some two to three hours later. Plan to stay and meet some new friends or catch up with those you have missed over the last couple of years. 

No experience is necessary, so come willing to learn. 

Donations requested

ASI has an immediate monetary need to support ongoing operations and programming that provide critical services to some of the most vulnerable in Archuleta County. Please consider donating. 

You may mail your donation to P.O. Box 3444, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or please visit our website: Donation checks can be written to: Archuleta Seniors Inc. We are located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. 

For more information about ASI, please visit