In 2016, the LUCHA [Land Use Colonia Housing Action] initiative made some big strides in developing a collection of community education materials for the Rio Grande Valley. Building off prior work, [bc], ARISE, LUPE, CDCB, and TxLIHIS have been working together with colonia residents to write and design a series of educational tools. The LUCHA Library, which will launch in 2017, offers resources focusing on Governance, Drainage, Housing, Public Services, and Planning and Development.
What makes these new resources unique is the process by which they were made. [bc] has leveraged the expertise of LUPE, ARISE, colonia residents, local and regional experts, and our other partners in developing these 15 educational tools. Believing that residents hold critical local knowledge, [bc] has put our organizing partners and community members at the core of this content development process. From the beginning, organizers and colonia residents informed the priorities and direction of each topic area. As we continued in development they reviewed and provided feedback on all draft outlines and materials. This iterative process served to support [bc]’s content development process, while also preparing organizers to go out and share the materials with colonia residents.
2016 also brought the addition of a graphic designer to LUCHA - a first for many of the organizers and colonia residents. The transformation of the LUCHA content into a graphic learning tool is another way the LUCHA Library is seeking to make technical information accessible and applicable to low-income and colonia residents. To achieve this goal together, [bc], organizers, and the graphic designer developed the style and graphic language for future LUCHA materials. So far, draft materials for Drainage and Governance have been developed, tested by colonia residents, and will be released in early 2017. Materials for the remaining topics, Housing, Public Services, and Planning and Development will be released throughout 2017.