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  Real People

Jardineros event planning committee (some not shown) (l. to r.): Front row: Kathy Bruch, 2015 President; Pat Quick*, Chair of the event; Geri Verble, Lin Robinson*, Shirley Ericson, Diane Herrera Shepard, Ellen McMahon; 2nd row: Connie Goodwin*, Pam Buethe*, Rozanne Hakala, Todd Hakala
*denotes Past Presidents of Jardineros. Photo credit: —Todd and Rozanne Hakala

Los Jardineros de Placitas celebrates its fiftieth

For fifty years, Los Jardineros de Placitas have been a strong part of the heartbeat of the Placitas Community. A meeting room at the Sandia Resort Hotel was the scene of a jubilant celebration of these fifty years on May 6. One-hundred-and-five members gathered to share lunch and a program that brought laughter, memories, and nostalgia to all. Mistress of Ceremonies Diane Herrera Shepard took the participating members through an hour of spoofs, jokes, memories of past activities and highlighted videos created by Rozanne and Todd Hakala.

Los Jardineros de Placitas grew out of an idea that began with a group of friends having coffee together. It became a member of the National Federation of Garden Clubs in 1965 with a membership of less than thirty that met in the homes of members. That has now grown to nearly two hundred members.

The organization has always been interested in providing services to the community, and their first project was the beautification of Placitas Elementary School in 1965. They participated in the July 4 parade of 1976 with a decorated buckboard, and they haven’t missed a parade since. Some of the money from their dues is donated each year to nonprofit organizations in Placitas and eastern Sandoval County. Members give time as well as money to help the community with such activities as reading with children in elementary schools and working to keep a section of Highway 165 litter free. Los Jardineros de Placitas, the Placitas Community Library, and the Placitas Artists Series often join together to promote enriching activities in the Placitas area.

All adult residents of Placitas are welcome to join Los Jardineros de Placitas. Visit for more information.

Home Circle Club of yesteryear

One hundred years of home as a place of sanctuary

—Doris Fields

I was delighted to have a ticket to one of the most important celebrations in the history of New Mexico. February 28, 2014, marked the one hundredth anniversary of the Home Circle Club. Seldom before had I seen so many well-educated women and men, college professors, nurses, politicians, educators, postal workers, lawyers, clergy, and more in one room and with this level of excitement.

For the past year, Ms. Rita Powdrell and other members of Home Circle Club have traveled throughout New Mexico sharing the legacy of the Home Circle Club. They will do so again on Saturday, June 6, at 2:00 p.m., at the Placitas Community Library.

Home Circle Club is a one-hundred-year-old organization of African American women who coordinated activities in resistance to inequality and for promotion of intellectual and moral uplift. Women of Home Circle Club practiced resistance, historically, through civic involvement.

They assume their role as providers of support where resources are inadequate and where access to resources is limited. During times when blatant and overt discrimination were the rule of behavior toward African Americans in New Mexico, and throughout the nation, women of Home Circle Club stepped in to instill courage in the face of direct physical attacks, provide educational materials when schools did not offer sufficient academic resources to Black students, and extend financial support when employers refused to pay wages. Their efforts were, indeed, acts of resistance—resistance to unequal access to education, housing, health care, and job opportunities. These women, much like the women of the local group, Los Jardineros de Placitas, work to improve the lives of the members of our community. Although the circumstances were different in 1914 when Home Circle Club was founded out of necessity and our society was changing, unequal access still is a concern to the women of our communities.

Everyone is encouraged to come to the Placitas Community Library to learn about Home Circle Club and its impact on the history of New Mexico.

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