Grant Recipients

The Center for Social Sustainable Systems (CESOSS) is a small nonprofit located in the Valle de Atrisco, also known as the South Valley. CESOSS works to protect and preserve ways of life and traditions that are connected to land and water resources in the community. CESOSS uses research, advocacy, leadership development, and education as tools for empowerment to ensure the preservation and continuation of traditions connected to land and water resources. The long-term vision of CESOSS is to become a leading community-based and community-led research and learning center that focuses on land and water issues.

The work of CESOSS primarily aligns with the Foundation’s Stewardship of Natural Resources Priority area. Key leverage points include the following:

  • CESOSS focuses on one of the state’s most precious resources – water. CESOSS seeks to protect and preserve traditions connected to water – e.g. acequia philosophy and culture by promoting a greater understanding of the economic, social, cultural, and spiritual importance of water.

  • CESOSS focuses on utilizing community-based education to increase the community’s knowledge on important issues impacting the local environment – e.g. effects of long-term drought, policy changes, over-development/continued encroachment and how these in turn impact local water resources.

  • Instilling a greater understanding and respect for natural resources undergirds all of the CESOSS programs, projects, and initiatives. This is fundamental in developing stronger stewardship models. This understanding and respect is especially evident in the CESOSS Leadership Institute curriculum that focuses on guiding young emerging leaders in forming deeper connections to land and water issues.

  • CESOSS reflects the importance of integrating diversity across its organization and programs. CESOSS deeply understands the role historically vulnerable communities must play in leading efforts in the protection and preservation of traditions connected to land and water resources.  

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