Hello. Hola. Ya ‘at ‘teeh.
Living in Southwest Colorado, right on the border of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, you hear a lot of different greetings. The Navajo reservation is the largest conglomerate of Indians in the United States, and Durango is right smack dab…. err…. to the side of it.
Here’s a little slice of economics for ya’ll:
So I live here in a town with about 14,000 other people who are mostly white, with about 25% Latino and Native American. Our largest county employer is The Southern Ute Indian Tribe, which owns considerable amounts of land, oil & gas rights, as well as a very popular casino.
I work for the county’s 3rd biggest employer : The Durango School District, as an Administrative Assistant. I make about $21,000 a year. Note* This is the most I’ve made in my 25 years.
The average person in Durango makes about $29,807.
The major source of our income is from Tourism and other forms of the Service Industry. Our 6th biggest employer is Wal-Mart. There are 6305 Employees in the Retail and Food Service Industries. That’s about 45% of the population of Durango.
The cost of living in Durango is 104% of the national average. The average price for a single family home in February 2007 was $423,000, up 18.5 percent from 2006. A 2 bedroom rental is usually between $750 and $1200/mo. Check it out: Our Local Paper
Exhausting, I know. Especially if you are me: a single mama, working below the average median income and in no spot to BUY a house. People wonder why I am applying for Section 8 housing if I have a college degree. Sometimes I wonder too.
So this will be a documentation of my attempt to climb the economic hierarchy of one of the most beautiful, yet difficult places to make a living in America.
Are you sure you wanna keep reading?