Help Bring ⚡️Power to #CasaMariposa

This  developing Border Ecology Project dreams of being off the grid! Here’s how you can help!

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When I was a boy my parents purchased a piece of property in Olmito, Texas. The property was tucked away in the far Northwest corner of the town and was completely undeveloped. There was no running water, no electricity, no communication lines, and no connection to a sewer system (decades later I would discover that my mom chose to move us from the suburbs to a border colonia). What it did have though was an amazing monte, two beautiful resacas, and winding caliche roads where we could play. This piece of property became our home and sanctuary when I was a kid. It became a space for familia, for celebration, for the raising of farm animals, and for making memories. Growing up my mom would tell us that the property would one day become ours and that we would have to become its caretakers. Back then the words sounded so far away, and I never imagined the day would come when it would actually happen. Well the day has come. Last summer my mom handed me an envelope that contained the deed and warranty title to the land. She explained that a piece of the land was under my name and that it was time for me to take responsibility for it. And with this simple act, a transition took place and a new chapter began in this long running story. My mind ran wild with the possibilities and I began to think about all that I had learned being gone for the last 20 years and how all of it would be incorporated into a new vision and direction for this sacred space. The thoughts filled me with emotion and as I began to imagine the possibilities, I hushed my mind and asked my mom what our place was called. She seemed perplexed by the question. No name had ever been given to this space. I pushed and encouraged her to think about what it would be called. After some thought and a few days, she finally spoke her truth and said, "La Mariposa." So now I find myself writing this next chapter and developing La Mariposa for her, for my familia, and for the next generation through a process that can only be understood as a Limpia. So with that I present to all of you the most recent part of la Limpia, the placing of Casa Mariposa on the property. This home will serve as the programmatic headquarters for Proyecto Tepehuaje. A project dedicated to promoting the ideals of Ecología Fronteriza in the lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. So let it be known that an envelope, some encouraging words, and a motherly hug were the driving force behind Proyecto Tepehuaje, a Dream within a Dream that is starting to come true.


The funds being requested will help to cover the cost of the installation of two mandatory electric light poles and an electric transformer on the property. The cost is associated with the local, municipal requirment to run electric power from an adjacent property before being able to install off the grid infrastructure. Without this financial support, the head quarters for the project, Casa Mariposa, will not be able to hook up to the local electric utility and won’t be able to take the first steps to eventually being powered by the wind and sun.


After speaking with the local power company, it was discovered that the light poles and transformer will not be installed unless the fees for installation are paid for up front. At this time we are requesting your assistance to meet this fundraising goal as soon as possible so the remodeling of the headquarters can begin.


Your support is greatly appreciated. This ecological venture is my first attempt at developing a project in the Rio Grande Valley. I know it will take a lot of hard work and dedication to make this project successful, but I'm  ready for the challenge. Since moving away nearly 20 years ago I have helped get many projects successfully started and moving in Tucson, AZ. My hope now is that the same can happen in deep South Texas. I'm calling on all the good people of the Valley and the Desert to help make this dream come true.


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Luis A. Perales 
Olmito, TX
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