State invests $2.2M to revitalize Barelas neighborhood

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Elizabeth Arencon is a lifelong Barelas neighborhood resident, and said it’s the heart of Albuquerque.

“I was born here, I lived with my grandmother in south Barelas and later we moved to north Barelas, it’s very special if you go back, everybody’s grandma or grandpa worked at the railyards, worked in south Barelas,” she said.

Elizabeth and her neighbors got some exciting news Tuesday.

“It’s $2.2 million that’s what we’re investing here today. That’s the announcement,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham at a press conference.

The multimillion-dollar investment is for the revitalization of the Barelas neighborhood.

Madelena Salazar is the executive director of Working Classroom, a social justice and arts nonprofit in the Barelas area.

“We feel very invested in this community and have seen it go through many different changes as an organization,” Salazar said.

The focus is on updating crosswalks and street lights – plus giving a New Mexico welcome into one of Albuquerque’s oldest neighborhoods.

“It feels like a liveliness that I feel like hasn’t been felt here in a while maybe, ” said Salazar.

Salazar and Arencon agree it’s a project that’s not just happening to Barelas. It’s happening with Barelas and for it.

“I’m very happy, yes, and we work together and we work hard,” said Arencon.

Project organizers hope to get things started by next spring.