The Doña Ana Village Association (DAVA) was founded in 2021 as a result of several community conversations which demonstrated a serious need for community organizing and representation. The Village of Doña Ana is the oldest federally designated Colonia in southern New Mexico and the only US community where a national historic trail runs down the village center. Yet, by definition, Colonias are unincorporated communities that lack basic services such as water infrastructure, housing, or sanitation. Doña Ana’s representation is limited to legislators and county commissioners who are tasked with representing large districts and since it isn’t feasible to incorporate, it cannot qualify for federal or most state grants. Even still, for over two centuries, the community of Doña Ana has been a place of kindness and humility.
Since its incorporation, DAVA has become the primary organization working on behalf of the Village of Doña Ana’s needs and crafting a model for other New Mexico Colonias to be better represented. Today, DAVA is a community driven, grassroots effort to represent the needs of and advocate for resources for the historic colonia of Doña Ana. DAVA organizes youth activities and programming through its Outdoor Equity Fund Grant, meets with state and local leaders in all industries to bring attention and resources to the village, and helps with Village specific issues by raising money or attention to address them. To date, DAVA has hosted nature walks, Luminaria Learning, and Youth-focused events in the community to raise awareness of the lack of youth engagement in the rural village. DAVA plans to host mobile museum exhibits in the County’s cultural center in the village and has already helped organize millions in infrastructure investment. Our board is majority women of color, and proudly bosts youth, queer, and diverse age representation. The
Legend of Ana is that she was known for her kindness, Charity, and agricultural prowess. In that spirit, we always organize sustainably with kindness, and with great respect for the Earth
It’s unknown whether the village takes Ana Robledo or Ana Cordoba. A shadowy woman named Doña Ana Córdoba who was reputed to have lived in the area in the early 1600s, early in its existence. According to local legend, Doña Ana Córdoba was known for her charity and agricultural prowess. The ranch was said to have had extensive orchards, vineyards, fields of corn and flocks of sheep, where she would welcome and feed the downtrodden and indigent.