Spirit-Building in a Building

Look to the sky above our Tierra Vida community and you may have seen the Broetje Family Trust building under construction. The building is raising the skyline of Tierra Vida and offering hope and excitement for new opportunities to be together in a new space. The space will host a number of Broetje Family Trust initiatives, including Vista Hermosa Foundation, the Center for Sharing, and Jubilee Foundation. It will also be a place where we engage the wider public in our work.

As a hub for these initiatives, it became important during planning that this brick-and-mortar building embody the values that guide our outreach and giving. Our connections to God, Self, Others, and Place are central to our work. In conceiving our new building, we wanted to have them reflected in its form.

As an example, the building will house Nueva Esperanza Leadership Academy (NELA) and up to 60 students, and has been designed to ensure that the classroom design, colors, and other learning spaces in the school best support NELA’s trauma-informed approach. Incorporating these elements facilitates opportunities for students to better understand themselves. Correspondingly, this then builds their capacity to connect with others and focus on their learning.

Chapel is a core practice within our organization. Each day, the Center for Sharing hosts morning devotionals. There, staff and friends come to draw closer to God and each other. Our new building will provide a larger space to accommodate the growing body of individuals who have come to make this their practice. The chapel also provides a quiet space for personal and group reflection that can be made available to people at any time.

We’ve built on our past experience of building design to support the construction of this new space, and we’re excited to bring in new elements, such as a renewed focus on environmental footprint. Our connection to place includes concepts related to how we treat and interact with the environment. We’re excited that our new building will draw nearly 40% of its electrical usage from 100 solar panels. An underground tank will capture rain water and low-flow water fixtures will reduce our water consumption.  Beyond this, we’re exploring ways to modify our behaviors: how can we better manage waste? Support recycling? And continue to challenge ourselves and our communities to be the best stewards of this place that we can be?

With COVID restricting our ability to interact and do the things we love, this building provides us with hope that we’re turning a corner. We anticipate a summer grand opening where we’ll be inviting one and all to gather and experience the building—and the community it supports—first hand and in person!

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