I love Pueblo. I am still navigating the shores of Pueblo after six years, but I have lived and traveled around the world since early childhood and I cannot imagine a better place for me to discover the magic of how history, culture and the arts empower discovery in our daily lives. The stories of Pueblo are profound as they have had a global impact on the way we live in the world today. Pueblo is also where you can actually see change happen before your eyes and it doesn't cost a million dollars. There are also strange disconnects like living in a community which is thoughtfully reaching for a 100% renewable energy solution for the town, but we do not know how to recycle a can. Having said that, what I do find so compelling in all of this messiness is the extraordinary sense of Community, Creativity and Courage that one finds in Pueblo, Colorado USA.
Pueblo is and always has been a city at the crossroads where people and ideas converge in a powerful display of creative genius. Since its earliest days, the citizens of Pueblo have brought to the fabric of the community a long tradition of exploration, discovery and self-expression --- turning ideas into action. The Arkansas River in Pueblo has served as the international boundary with France, Spain, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas, making it a true frontier region in the southwest where everyday is extraordinary. The region has been at the epicenter of opportunity in Colorado since the early 1840s when the early settlers built the El Pueblo Fort for trading and commerce. The steel industry driven by Colorado Fuel & Iron ushered in generations of workers from around the world who brought with them their own unique cultures and perspectives on humanity.
Exploration, discovery and self-expression have been key drivers in the development of Pueblo since its earliest beginnings. History, culture and the arts have empowered individuals to share their stories of the good, the bad and the ugly. Humanity can get messy, but it is during these moments when one finds him or herself on the fringe or outside of one's comfort zone that light shines bright. A community that embraces and understands the power of light and creativity is more apt to be fluid and flexible in the process of problem solving. Change agents in the community welcome diversity and encourage participation and ownership from all stakeholders in the conversation.
NO is a hard YES and you have to hold down the grass really hard when you create a new pathway for others to follow. Change is hard. And when you add sustainability to the equation, 1 + 1 does not always equal 3. It takes failure and a lot of courage to make a difference for our children of the future. Pueblo's unique landscape is fostering the extension of the frontiers of opportunity. Communities must have a conversation about the complex issues of shelter, energy, waste, water and food when we talk about sustainability and the human race. This must start locally. Pueblo has the courage and the capacity to face the challenges before us today.
Dive In and Get Wet,
Note: Bottles courtesy of Bill Belden. Photography by Gregory Howell.