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FUTURO Enterprise Community*

*
(FUTURO was designated as a Round III Empowerment Zone on January 11, 2001.  For more information, link here)

Lead Entity: Middle Rio Grande Development Foundation, Inc. 

Demographics 

State: Texas
Counties (Census Tracts): Maverick (9505, 9506), Zavala (9503), Uvalde (9505), Dimmit (9501)
Community Population: 29,724
Poverty Rate: 46%
Net Land Area: 913 square miles

Background

Community Overview 

Families United To Utilize Regional Opportunities (FUTURO) is a five county region, mostly Hispanic, in a remote area of rural Texas along the Mexican border. The community experiences pervasive, grinding poverty in less than substandard living conditions. The community came to realize that a region-wide proposal and strategy would best serve its population. FUTURO residents together with local government and participating business partners, agreed that funding for regional projects should benefit all participating communities rather than individual ones. With this in mind the EZ operating budget was created so that 50 percent would be allocated to Zonewide projects and fifty percent to specific community projects over the full ten years of the program. 

Strategic Plan Highlights 

The strategic plan strives to balance economic and social development with cultural and family values for the entire region. The community has published an annual report since being designated a Champion Community in 1994 that describes in detail, the goals and accomplishments of the previous year.

Partnerships 

FUTURO has formed an excellent network of partnerships, nearly 50 local or regional organizations have made commitments to this initiative. Partners have pledged a spectrum of concrete support including: to build a new Boys and Girls Club, establish an anti-drug program, and to create recreational and vocational programs to improve schools in the region. 

Leveraging 

Numerous area resources are documented as funding sources during the implementation of the plan. The lead entity has had previous experience in leveraging funding sources and will aggressively seek outside funding sources for every dollar of EZ funding. There are also over 40 letters of support documenting resource commitments to this initiative. 

Community Involvement 

The communityís cohesive regional thinking strategies, extensive out-reach, intense public participation and noted low-income resident representation are unsurpassed. More than 300 rural residents participated in one or more of the public meetings held to formulate their strategies for improving their community.

Contact:

Cristela Perez, Chief Executive Officer

Address:

100 W. South Street

 

Uvalde, TX 78801

Telephone:

(830) 278-6817

Fax:

(830) 278-6905

Email:

Cperez@futurocommunities.org

Web: http://www.futurocommunities.org

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