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Human of the Rocky Mountain Southwest: March 22, 2018

When I moved to the Raton/Trinidad area in 1999, I’m not sure I was prepared to love Raton as much as I do. It’s a town with a bunch of really talented, fun people working their butts off to rebuild and remake a community.  People are willing to take chances and say “yes” to ideas and are doing a lot to work together, towards common goals.  It’s really a blast to be part of a community effort like this, where you can make an impact and not get lost in the politics and rules of some big government or corporate bureaucracy.

I have been the Executive Director at the Center for Sustainable Community for the past 1½ years. The strong community spirit in Raton lets us be nimble and creative and to take chances with the work I do at the Center, like our coworking space, that is usually only found in metro areas. I know that people are getting fed up with the congestion and cost of big city life and have begun to explore areas such as ours for alternatives.  With my multi-talented coworker Jessica Barfield, we’re doing all we can to attract new residents, new ideas and new money.

Geoff Peterson is all smiles in the HATCH co-working space at Center of Sustainable Community. Photo by Colette Armijo

I am passionate about growing and cooking food, so my job at the Center is great because I work with other food people on a community garden and farmers market project for downtown Raton. I also get to manage the Coal Camp Commercial Kitchen and help members of the community start their own food businesses.  I am always excited to get in the kitchen myself to try my own food ideas.

As a native New Mexican and someone with family roots here, I have a real loyalty and love for the area. A number of years ago I was job hunting up in the Denver metro area and all the way to a final interview for a pretty decent paying job.  But that lifestyle is such a rat race I just paused and said no thanks. I think I’ve got the best of it all now. A rewarding job, beautiful rural home, a big bunch of fun crazy ping-pong playing friends and an amazing partner in my girlfriend, Jacki.  Sometimes, it’s just not possible to guess the future, is it?