Brownsville, Texas, Dec 28, 2017 / 00:01 am
A partnership among the Diocese of Brownsville, businesses, and other community partners aims to create a self-sustaining space where area residents can learn, play, find services, and meet others from different backgrounds.
“My intention is that this be a place where you can encounter and enjoy knowing other people,” Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville said at a Nov. 29 dedication ceremony at the project site. “My hope, especially for the families that are here, is that this land will continue to be a land that bears fruit - fruit of hope, of joy, of laughter and learning, especially for our young people.”
The project, called Plaza Amistad, will include a health care clinic and education center, retail stores, a farming field school, a farmer’s market, a community garden, and a café.
There will also be venues for soccer, volleyball and other sports, as well as a perimeter trail, the Rio Grande Guardian reports. It takes its name from the Spanish word for friendship.
The project’s first phase, developed over a six-month period, will use 14 acres outside Donna, Texas, which is located 50 miles northwest of Brownsville, and just eight miles from the US-Mexico border.
The land was donated by the Bonham family, non-Catholics who are prominent citrus growers in the Rio Grande Valley.
It is modeled on public-private partnerships to gather support and expertise from various community partners.
“For me it is a perfect partnership and I am grateful that God opened the doors,” Bishop Flores said. “We have to take a few risks because we haven’t done this before. This is all kind of new – the church, businesses, local community organizations, the more the merrier, working together as a community of communities.”