There’s a merry band of community organizers in Española, but they’re not stealing from the rich. And Ralph Martinez, the lightning rod at the center of the group’s activity, is more of a Pied Piper than a Robin Hood.
It’s hard to keep up with Martinez’s philanthropic efforts in the Española Valley. Last weekend, he was showing off the improvements to Española Pathways Shelter, Rio Arriba County’s first homeless shelter, at 216 N. Riverside Drive in Española. The center is housed in former chiropractors’ offices in a shopping mall.
Riding shotgun was Roger Montoya, co-founder of Moving Arts Española. Montoya was honored in December as one of CNN’s 10 Heroes of 2019 for his after-school programs that offer children training in music, dance, art and gymnastics, as well gives them as a hot meal. Montoya is running for the state House of Representatives in District 40, which includes parts of Colfax, Rio Arriba and San Miguel counties.