Giving South Valley Families ACCESS: Art Community Culture Education Science and Sports

"Sin miedo. Sin miedo!"  "Without fear, without fear!" A mother shouts at her young son who is running with the game ball towards the opposition's soccer goal. Every Monday and Wednesday families are coming together for an afternoon of fun in the park at 86th and Tower. This is one of many activities Fernando Ortega expects to organize through a new program called ACCESS.


ACCESS represents a vision Fernando has had for a long time. He believes that by combining Art, Community, Culture, Education, Science and Sports more South Valley families will be able to access services and tools they need to live a healthier life: Healthier in areas of physical, mental, emotional, cultural and spiritual well-being.

Fernando describes these characteristics as cells and that by improving even one area, it opens up the opportunity for growth and improvement in all other areas.  Research supports this: for example, regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, and increases self-esteem.

The ultimate goal of ACCESS is to create positive change by offering healthy and educational activities and by providing an opportunity for families to spend quality time together.

Among many things, Fernando works as a navigator for the Pathways for a Healthier Bernalillo County - connecting community members to health care and social services. Through his experiences as a navigator and a South Valley resident, he saw a need for activities that could help children and their parents. Most importantly, activities that promote a sense of community and are affordable for community members are hard to find. Most soccer leagues come at a high price.  However, ACCESS is 100% volunteer-based and it gives families, regardless of household income, an opportunity to be part of fun and engaging organized activities.  

In the near future, Fernando hopes to combine different activities at the same time and place, for example having yoga class for the adults while the children play soccer. This would give the parents an opportunity to do something to benefit their health as well as perhaps a moment of relaxation.

Please feel free to join and bring your family to one of ACCESS's fun and engaging activities!

If you are interested in sponsoring, volunteering or donating supplies please contact:  Fernando Ortega at 505-319-3356 or [email protected]


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commented 2017-02-14 04:24:12 -0700 · Flag
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Building a healthy community in the South Valley of ABQ