La Plazita Institute is a non-profit organization engaging New Mexico’s youth, elders and communities in a comprehensive, holistic and cultural approach.

Mission, History & Goals


La Plazita Institute, Inc. is a non-profit grassroots organization in Albuquerque, NM. La Plazita engages New Mexico’s youth, elders and communities in a comprehensive, holistic and cultural approach. Designed around the philosophy of “La Cultura Cura” or culture heals, La Plazita’s programs engages New Mexico’s youth, elders and communities to draw from their own roots and histories to express core traditional values of respect, honor, love, and family.




Since 2004, LPI has provided cultural healing services to Albuquerque’s most vulnerable youth, adult populations and their families. Most of our participants are of Hispanic/Latino, Chicano, and Native American heritage, are previously incarcerated and/or gang involved, and come from families with multi-generational legacies of poverty, gang involvement, and substance abuse addiction.


There is an enormous need for this work as our population tends to fall through the cracks of conventional social service institutes. We provide whole family, culturally appropriate support to facilitate healing and development of core identify and self-esteem. LPI is a cultural “hub” for urban Native American families who attend weekly Inipi ceremonies, language, arts, and crafts programs.


La Plazita has made huge strides in establishing a significant footprint in the South Valley and throughout the state of New Mexico in reducing violence, addiction, incarceration and recidivism amongst the most overrepresented youth and adults in detention and those considered high-risk populations within the community.


The seeds, successes and sustainability achieved in strengthening the social, physical and cultural capital of the South Valley, can be attributed to the expertise and diligence of La Plazita staff, community leadership, volunteers and students, as well as funding support provided by many public and private donors and community partners committed to LPI’s mission and vision. In addition, collective impact, coalition building, systemic and social change are central to the efforts La Plazita Institute is engaged in.


Organizational Goals:

• Improve the health and well-being of Latino/Chicano, Native American youth and adult inmates through traditional cultural services, and facilitate healing, core identity and self-efficacy.


• Reduce incarceration, recidivism risk and adjudication of Latino/Chicano and Native American youth and adult inmates through innovative, drug-free income generating activities that promote entrepreneurship, art and educational development of high risk area youth and inmates by increasing the exposure of these individuals and families to LPI activities.


• Increase the organizational capacity of La Plazita to sustain its healing services while retaining its community-based and indigenous healing philosophy.


• Reduce race-based and ethnic disparities of Latino/Chicano and Native American inmates through engagement in critical prevention work and systemic policy efforts collaboratively with local, state and national stakeholders. Such strategies include reducing the school to prison pipeline through development and implementation of culturally appropriate strategies and best practices to reform the juvenile justice system and address key barriers for Chicano/Hispanic and Native youth and families.


Get Involved

We work hard to improve our community,  All help and volunteers are greatly appreciated. Please call us for more information today at

(505)-508 1802

Employment & Opportunities

La Plazita Institute is receiving applications for the Native American Youth Urban Corps project, in partnership with Conservation Legacy. 

To apply as a Crew Leader or Member, apply online here:

Crew Leader…ings/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.jobInfo&version=1&jobid=139

Crew Member

Project Overview: Conservation Legacy, in partnership with La Plazita Institute, will field one crew of 8 Native American participants (six members and two leaders) for a minimum of six weeks in fall 2014. The La Plazita Native American Urban Corps would complete conservation ser…vice projects in the Department of Interior’s newest Fish and Wildlife Refuge Valle de Oro in Albuquerque as well as other Tribal and Ancestral lands and waters. Through this project, Conservation Legacy will support La Plazita in expanding LPI’s suite of healing, transition, and community outreach programs to include conservation service corps opportunities, learning and provide a continuum of healing and support for Native youth ages 16 – 25 years.
For more information, contact Natalie or Theresa at (505) 508-1802.

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