MTC Facilities Support Little Community Library

Recently, the Otero County Prison Facility and the Otero County Processing Center combined efforts to serve the community. Residents of the prison facility made a…‘Little Free Library’…that was installed at the Dona Ana County Community Center.

Little Free Libraries are popping up around the country as book-sharing boxes where anyone may take or share a book.  The Otero County facilities saw to it that Chaparral got theirs.

“It’s a win-win situation that Chaparral, our community, has the opportunity to get books, and it’s an opportunity for the residents to give back by building that Little Library,” said Former Otero County Prison Facility Warden Rick Martinez.

Otero Facilities Community Relationship Pt Still
Former OCPF Warden Rick Martinez

The excitement for the library is also being felt by community members. “It really is exciting, because something so small, I know, I can just see the look on people’s eyes, and I can just see the motivation, and the compassion, and the spirit that people are out here to help each other out. And that’s what we need right now,” said Dona Ana County Property Manager Misty Dawn Benavidez.

While library support is echoed by community leaders. Willie Madrid represents Chaparral and the surrounding community in the state legislature.  A former teacher, he was excited by the book project. “There’s no too early, and it’s never too late to have an impact by books,” said Willie Madrid.

Representative Madrid was also impressed with the collaborative effort that made the Little Free Library possible. “And I think it takes the work of a community together with the businesses and organizations to find some way to contribute.  So, I thank MTC for being that model of an example.”

Attending the Little Free Library ribbon-cutting ceremony were representatives from the Mexican General Consulate office in nearby El Paso.

“MTC and the Consulate General of Mexico have an old partnership, but this partnership improves because we are now working towards the community,” Ricardo Lecanda, acting consul-general, Mexican Consulate of El Paso “So, MTC, one of their commitments is to serve the community.  Consulate General of Mexico, one of the goals is also to serve our community.  So, projects like this are very important because we can approach the community that needs help, that needs education, that needs culture.”

Otero Facilities Community Relationship Pt Still
Ricardo Lecanda, acting consul-general

Showing support for the community, other organizations came to the Little Free Library ribbon cutting which have been longtime MTC partners like VFW New Mexico State Commander Roy Maldonado. “We’ve been very proud to partner up with them because we all have the same vision, Maldonado said.”

“We’re all doing the same thing, but a smaller group.  If we come together, it’s a bigger effect.  And today you saw that with different agencies from El Paso, from Juarez.  We’re all working together.”

That community spirit is something the Otero County facilities have worked diligently over the years to be an active part of.  In Part Two of this Otero County community outreach story, we’ll show another example of both facilities’ collaborative efforts to improve the lives of their neighbors.

“I just want to say thank you to everybody, thank you to MTC,” Benavidez said. “Without you, we wouldn’t be here, and we wouldn’t be engaging in bigger and better things, and I look forward to working with you all.”