The We Are Chaffee too! written personal stories are written by a diverse group of community members. We cannot thank our stories tellers and writers enough for their short, sweet, and incredibly powerful stories.
Luz Stella Diaz
Luz, her husband Terry and their dogs moved to Salida in 2014 from the Atlanta area. She was born and raised in Colombia, South America.
Luz has many interests. She enjoys walking/hiking, playing with her dogs, talking to her friends, traveling, eating, dancing, listening to music, reading and collecting books, writing (in journals, on post it notes, on napkins), volunteering, visiting museums/galleries, meeting new people and cultures.
Luz has an ongoing struggle in her life. Her deep love of the United States is mixed with a constant longing for her home country. Her soul is in both places.
Megan loves to write to make sense of all her broken pieces; to create connection and empathy with others. Megan sees the good in everyone and craves to know people’s personal stories because she believes stories can create the capacity for greater understanding and, ultimately, love (and not in a cheesy way!). Megan has deep roots in the local community–her family has been in the area for generations, she was born in Salida and grew up coming here all her childhood summers. She has witnessed the many versions of Chaffee County over time and feels like change is positive. She likes blue skies, heavy rain, the mountains and hiking the highest peaks. Her focus is family, deep friendships and meaningful work.
Cecilia LaFrance resides in Nathrop and works in Buena Vista. Her writing highlights include time as a small-town newspaper reporter; writing of fiction, essays and poetry; and publication of a former blog featuring interviews with individuals experiencing homelessness in Denver, CO. She was a classroom teacher of writing for 10 years and now works in the library field to promote the love of literacy and inquiry, as well as to be surrounded by books.
A true Chicagoan down to the marrow, Bianka Isabella Martinez is a black latina whose passions include conservation, stewardship, and the preservation of the natural world. Having grown up in the Midwest she thirsted for the perfect balance of an urban community with an escape into the beaten path. She completed Undergraduate studies August of 2018, with a concentration on natural biology and ecology. Her passion for ecology and conservation drove her into a field where she's able to balance stewardship, and education because she believes that the next generation plays a crucial part in shaping the future of the natural spaces in the world. Her goal is to transform others into lifelong learners with a passion for the outdoors and to see more people of color and queer people pick up the passion for the outdoor along the way. On her free time, she indulges in reading, herping, rugby, and activism.