Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque

Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque is a 100% volunteer driven African community-based organization that promotes social, economic justice and empowerment of African immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in New Mexico. The majority reside in the Greater Albuquerque area, including the International District, and are from Africa, Asia, The Middle East, Haiti, Mexico, Cuba and the
United States. IRRVA’s community garden in the heart of the International District Offers opportunities for their communities to grow traditional foods from their homelands and provide agricultural internships for their youth.


  • Six additional garden boxes have been constructed and the youth are growing plants, including African squash. The beauty of the garden expansion has been the education component of the build out. The youth (mainly young African teens) learned what it takes to develop a professional “plan”. The Urban Ag Project team members walked them through the different components of the plan. Another meeting involved the measuring of the beds. Some of the youth used a tape measure for the first time and loved it. The Urban Ag Project team members also conducted a math lesson on a white board, where the young women had to figure out the cost of each bed and ultimately the cost of the project thus far. A very strong part of this garden is that it was built by the IRRVA circle, taken care of by the IRRVA circle and ultimately for the IRRVA circle. Mama Nkazi has posted beautiful photos on the IRRVA Facebook page.
  • The Urban Ag Project team will soon build additional beds and will coordinate an improved irrigation system with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority.


  • Pre-pandemic, Bernalillo County Urban Ag Project staff members entered discussions with IRRVA and the interest was mutual to support and grow the youth gardening “committee” at IRRVA. Fortunately, they were written into the NM Foundation permaculture grant with the goal of organizing youth, educating youth about urban ag and growing food, water utility etc. The permaculture budget amounted to approximately $3500. This includes lumber for more beds, compost, tools, irrigation materials etc. Groundwork Studio worked alongside IRRVA leaders and youth to design a draft plan of the garden space.


  • Only recently has IRRVA had the luxury of owning their own space in the South-Central part of the International District on Mesilla St. The back side of the buildings have a huge space and had gardens at one point. Leaders of IRRVA felt the time was optimal to encourage planting and gardening among the youth who are very involved in tutoring and other activities.




Nkazi Sinandile