By Arin McKenna – – Photo: Don Unser.

Española, New Mexico,  residents, community leaders, and committed citizens are determined to change the narrative for their beloved town. The city of Española sprang up and prospered when the Denver & Rio Grande Railway (D&RG; aka the Chili Line) built a station here in 1880. When D&RG abandoned the line in 1941, Española began a gradual decline, hastened by the subsequent loss of a major lumber mill and other large employers. This led to failing businesses, abandoned properties, poverty, few jobs, rampant drug use and other social ills. But Española has been slowly and steadily transforming itself. What has been a slow-motion renaissance may be picking up steam.

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