Las Cumbres Community Services Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary


Las Cumbres Community Services is celebrating its Fiftieth Anniversary. Services first began in White Rock, New Mexico, in 1970, with a sheltered workshop for adults with developmental disabilities to provide vocational training, social and living skills training. The agency received its 501c3 status in 1971 and has continued to grow since that time to meet expanding community needs resulting in the addition of community infant and early childhood and youth and caregiver services. There are close to twenty total programs in place today across Child and Family as well as Adult Services.

The agency is home to 200 employees and reaches families in Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, and Taos Counties, while also assisting immigrant children at the New Mexico/Texas/Mexico border. Las Cumbres provides early intervention for children with or at risk of developmental delays; residential and community-integrated programs for adults who identify with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities; and a preschool for 3- and 4-year olds in the Española Valley. More programs include assistance locally for immigrant children and families; supports for grandparents raising grandchildren; openings for fathers wishing to engage more effectively in their children’s lives; low birth weight prevention; child abuse prevention services, and myriad additional combinations of family supports. Las Cumbres partners with hospitals and primary care providers, public schools, City, State, and Federal resources, community foundations, substance abuse clinics, and collaborative mental health providers and sits on a variety of boards seeking advocacy, equity, and legislative support. A recently established Race and Social Justice Committee is pursuing an internal review of the agency’s policies and practices. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, services continued without disruption primarily through Telehealth and other virtual platforms. Today, the agency is re-opening gradually to face-to-face services at all four sites. 

In its fifty years of dedication, Las Cumbres weathered the behavioral health shakeup in 2013 when then-Governor Susanna Martinez ordered the Human Services Department to cut off Medicaid payments to fifteen mental health providers. The agency’s Child and Family Services Department inaugurated an Early Childhood Training Institute in 2006 and again in 2008 for early childhood practitioners and issued completion certificates to close to 50 graduates in its two two-year cohorts. A sold-out benefit concert featured singer James Taylor and hosts Jane Fonda and Rob Reiner at the Santa Fe Lensic Theater to support infant and early childhood mental health services. In 2012, Las Cumbres was designated as a National Child Traumatic Stress Network affiliated site for Northern New Mexico to serve families impacted by trauma across six counties. Five years later this trauma work broadened into the agency’s Santuario del Corazon (Heart Sanctuary) program, serving immigrant families in Northern New Mexico and at the Borderland. A mobile unit was dispatched monthly to detention centers at the border, until those trips were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, bringing family navigators and clinicians to provide for families seeking social justice supports. Select and specific programs that came to fruition with the agency through the years include Family Infant Toddler (FIT) Early Intervention for young children, Conjunto PreK Therapeutic Preschool, ¡Que Cute! Healthy Baby Program, Confident Parenting Home Visiting, and Family Intervention, Prevention and Reunification programs. The vast majority of the agency’s direct service clients are low-income and have no access to transportation of their own. Las Cumbres dedicates substantial time and travel to reach families who might not otherwise have access to vital services. 

Today the agency is re-opening gradually to face-to-face services, post-pandemic, on-site again, re-initiating Day Habilitation services for adults in Rio Arriba and northern Santa Fe County this past July. As with all site re-openings, strict consideration to safety protocols is being adhered to in relation to any ongoing COVID-19 concerns, including services to be held out of doors as long as warm weather permits. During the pandemic, the Adult Services Department’s Peach Group Home never closed its doors where individuals call “Peach” their home and receive round-the-clock assistance including nursing care. Two recent vaccination clinics, held in partnership with Walgreen’s and CVS pharmacies, enabled distribution of the COVID vaccine to all Adult Services staff and the majority of Adult Service clients as well as to many other Las Cumbres program staff and their families.  
Las Cumbres Community Services today is one of the largest social service employers in the northern part of rural New Mexico providing for upwards of 6,000 individuals annually, working to build a world where everyone connects and thrives in their community. For more information or to make a referral, visit the agency website