Empowering Progress in New Mexico: Clearinghouse CDFI’s Transformative Impact

Dark blue image with a photo showing New Mexico on a map and a small clipping of the New Mexico flag. The words "Empowering Progress in New Mexico" in yellow, white, and orange/red with the Clearinghouse CDFI logo beneath

Deep in the heart of the Southwest, where the echoes of adobe pueblos meet the modern pulse of Santa Fe, a silent financial revolution is unfolding. It’s not just about numbers and interest rates. It’s about possibilities. New Mexico, with its vibrant history and rich cultural tapestry, stands on the precipice of transformational change. As we navigate modern economic complexities, local partnerships and investments are more vital than ever – and for those in New Mexico seeking to make a meaningful difference, CDFIs like Clearinghouse are the key.

For a quick overview on what Clearinghouse CDFI is doing in New Mexico, listen to Episode 5 of Funded! by Clearinghouse CDFI 

Breaking Down the Buzz: What is a CDFI?

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are more than just financial entities. They are dedicated advocates for responsible, affordable lending aimed at uplifting low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities. In simple words, Clearinghouse CDFI and its peers serve those who are underserved by mainstream lenders. For a comprehensive dive into the world of CDFIs, explore our in-depth blog post here.

U.S. Treasury's Certified CDFI logo text and a yellow circle.

Why New Mexico Needs CDFIs

While New Mexico is rich in culture and natural beauty, it faces unique challenges:

  • Diverse populations: With a blend of urban centers and rural expanses, it’s essential to understand the diverse needs of New Mexicans.
  • Economic disparities: Like many places, there’s a gap between thriving areas and those needing a financial boost.
  • Untapped Potential: Many community projects await the right financial backing to establish a foothold and thrive.

Clearinghouse CDFI—with its nuanced understanding of New Mexico credit needs—bridges these gaps, propelling communities toward a brighter future.

How Clearinghouse CDFI Stands Out in New Mexico’s Landscape

  • Tailored Approach: Every project presents unique challenges and opportunities. Clearinghouse CDFI specializes in providing loans customized to meet each borrower’s specific needs.
  • Experience: Having lent over $70MM in New Mexico, Clearinghouse CDFI is an established lender with a deep understanding of the local economy and a portfolio of successful projects spanning the state.
  • Commitment to Community: At Clearinghouse CDFI, we put people before profit, working to build thriving, resilient communities where people can work, live, dream, and grow.

Word cloud in the shape of New Mexico showcasing various Clearinghouse CDFI New Mexico loans

Within the mosaic of New Mexico’s diverse landscapes and communities lies a central, unifying thread: the need for sustainable development and growth. This is where Clearinghouse CDFI steps in, leveraging its expertise and resources to address these needs. From rejuvenating the iconic El Vado Motel to fortifying the infrastructure of the Pueblo of Laguna, Clearinghouse CDFI stands at the forefront of pivotal community developments in New Mexico. Let’s explore the depth of our impact and dedication to these remarkable communities.

The Tale of El Vado: A Triumph of Resilience and Vision

Nestled along the scenic stretch between the meandering Rio Grande River and the historic heart of Old Town Albuquerque, stands the El Vado Motel. This emblematic establishment encapsulates New Mexico’s rich tourism heritage from the golden era of Route 66. When it opened in 1937, El Vado was one of New Mexico’s first motels to greet Route 66 travelers. Generations of families have forged lasting memories and adventures starting here. Today, El Vado is a unique blend of historic character and charm, combined with modern comforts and amenities. Though it faced potential demolition in 2005 to pave the way for luxury townhouses, the resilient spirit of the community and a vision for preserving history ensured its revival and restoration.

Today, El Vado isn’t just a 22-room boutique motel. It’s a vibrant community hub boasting retail shops, an event center, and a taproom pouring local brews. Food enthusiasts also relish its “food pods” occupied by an eclectic mix of local vendors. Adjacently, El Vado Place shines with 32 modern apartments, each echoing the state’s rich history and vibrant future. A short walk from both Old Town and the BioPark, El Vado is not just a motel but a story of perseverance, restoration, and community spirit.

Experience the captivating journey of El Vado Motel’s revival in this short documentary below. Witness how a cherished landmark was transformed into a bustling community hub.
Click play to watch now!

Clearinghouse CDFI was honored to support the rejuvenation of this designated historic gem, a redevelopment feat that gracefully underscores the transformative potential of commercial real estate finance in New Mexico. With a $3.2MM loan to Palindrome Communities, the lead developer, CCDFI championed the marriage of preservation and progress.

While the El Vado Motel stands as a testament to New Mexico’s rich tourism history and the golden era of Route 66, there are other corners of the state where modern challenges intertwine with historical roots. Just as El Vado is a beacon of perseverance in Albuquerque, further west a different kind of resilience is being cultivated—one that resonates with the Pueblo of Laguna’s drive to blend indigenous heritage with modern infrastructure.

Upholding Native Traditions: Lending to the Pueblo of Laguna

Shifting our focus from the Las Cruces vicinity, Clearinghouse CDFI’s dedication extends to another pivotal project in the Land of Enchantment: The Pueblo of Laguna—a federally recognized tribe positioned 50 miles west of Albuquerque.3 photos on a dark blue background: A birds-eye view of The Pueblo of Laguna, a group of tribal members from The Pueblo of Laguna, some tribal members working on the watershed project. The words "The Pueblo of Laguna" sit between the pictures in white. The Pueblo of Laguna logo is also shown.

Spanning 500,000 acres and divided into six picturesque, rural villages, the Pueblo of Laguna is the embodiment of traditional harmony converging with the urgency of modern infrastructure. Through dedicated financing, Clearinghouse CDFI provided $14MM of Federal New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs), not only fortifying infrastructural developments but also promising enhanced health, safety, and robust economic opportunities. This initiative established critical, state-of-the-art wastewater infrastructure, marking the final phase of a $70 million development journey that began in 2011.

This new infrastructure not only bolsters health and safety standards across all six villages but also breathes new life into the local economy. With the creation of 40 construction roles and three permanent positions, all offering wages beyond the living standard, the positive impact of this sizeable endeavor echoes deeply throughout the region.

Quote by John E. Antonio, Sr., Governor - Pueblo of Laguna

Clearinghouse CDFI’s partnership with the Pueblo of Laguna underscores its unwavering commitment to uplifting indigenous communities and championing sustainable progress in New Mexico. At the heart of these impactful endeavors lies a deep respect and commitment to fostering authentic economic growth throughout the state. Leading the charge with unwavering dedication is Lawrence Chavez, who embodies this shared vision for the state’s bright future.

Meet New Mexico Specialist, Lawrence Chavez: The Man Behind CCDFI’s Local Pulse

Back in 2017, Lawrence Chavez chanced upon the rejuvenated El Vado Motel. The gleaming sign outside caught his attention: “Financing provided by Clearinghouse CDFI.” This was the moment of epiphany for him.

Circular headshot of CCDFI's New Mexico Specialist, Lawrence Chavez, with dark blue eborder

“When I saw that sign outside the El Vado, it stirred something profound within me. That’s a legacy, a positive change I wanted to contribute to. I thought to myself, ‘I want to be a part of something like that.’ Now here I am, passionately working to transform New Mexico with Clearinghouse CDFI.”

Lawrence Chavez, New Mexico Specialist, Clearinghouse CDFI

Phil Glynn, Travois President discussing NMTCs with Lawrence Chavez

Based out of Albuquerque, Lawrence Chavez is Clearinghouse CDFI’s dedicated New Mexico Specialist. He possesses a keen understanding of local nuances and a deep-rooted commitment to community growth. Chavez spearheads CCDFI’s lending endeavors across the state, collaborating closely with communities and industries to ensure that financial products and services are tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of local communities.

“In New Mexico, relationships matter,” says Chavez. “The communities here value a genuine, face-to-face conversation. More often than not, you’ll find me at a local coffee shop, deep in conversation with potential borrowers or partners. For me, it’s this personal connection that defines the spirit of lending in New Mexico.”

Echoing Lawrence’s sentiment, Clearinghouse CDFI honors these relationships, providing customized solutions and unwavering support at every lending stage.

Shaping the Future of New Mexico: Clearinghouse CDFI’s Local Impact

From New Mexico affordable housing loans to New Mexico nonprofit loans, Clearinghouse CDFI is more than just a lender. We’re a partner, a collaborator, and a dream-builder catering to the diverse needs of a growing state rich in tradition and possibilities.

A visual representation of the impact broken down in the impact paragraph regarding Clearinghouse CDFI's work in New Mexico

With over 25 years of experience and over $70MM lent in New Mexico alone, our expertise is comprehensive, and our impact is measurable. Notably, out of all our New Mexico Lending, nearly 20% directly supports projects that uplift Native American communities, underscoring our commitment to sustainable and inclusive development. Our work in New Mexico has helped create over 1,700 jobs, playing a pivotal role in fostering local economic growth and stability in 29 different low-income communities. This goes beyond just numbers; it’s about tangible, positive change in the lives of many.

Whether it’s breathing life back into the historic El Vado Motel or establishing crucial infrastructure for the Pueblo of Laguna, Clearinghouse CDFI has been and shall remain deeply invested in New Mexico’s prosperity.

Feeling inspired?

Connect with Clearinghouse CDFI today.

Together, we can script the next chapter in New Mexico’s inspiring journey.


Lawrence Chavez

Email: NMloans@ccdfi.com

Phone: 505-220-8763

Uncover Clearinghouse CDFI’s full impact in New Mexico by exploring these other amazing projects:

Imperial Inn Motel:

Rendering of Imperial Inn Motel in Albuquerque, NM

$5.8M in Financing for Redevelopment and Transformation of Property for Albuquerque Community Village


Gilbert Sena Charter High School:

Exterior view of Gilbert L. Sena Charter High School - Albuquerque, NM

$1.5M in Financing Supports New Mexico Charter School for Nontraditional High School Students in Albuquerque


MV Desert Hope:

Several people are gathered around a man who is cutting a green and blue ribbon with oversized scissors for the grand opening of the Desert Hope Apartments

$3.4 Million Loan Creates 40 Affordable Apartment Homes in Low-Income Community in Las Cruces