| For Clifford Lucero, a fourth-generation Pagosa Springs native, it was never a question of “why Pagosa Springs?” It was a question of “why not Pagosa Springs?”
“I decided to stay in the community. It was a good community for me and it was a great community to raise kids,” says Lucero, who left briefly to attend Fort Lewis College for a year before marrying and moving back to Pagosa to provide for his family. After working with his successful businesses, Lucero now serves as the chair of the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners.
“I personally feel the school district is very good. There are various youth organizations that kids can participate in, you have a variety of churches that people can go to, and the beauty of the town and county — people move here just for that,” Lucero says.
Lucero humbly touts Pagosa as a family-friendly community, but it has him to thank for being one individual who has worked to help it become that community. Lucero has been a dedicated volunteer for over 25 years, serving as a coach, sitting on boards of organizations and government entities throughout the county, and was instrumental in the fruition of the South Pagosa Park and the Youth Athletic Football League.
“I think what makes Pagosa great are the people and their ability to help each other out. People care here. This is a caring community,” says Lucero. “I think, in general, the people in this town and county are nicer than any people I’ve ever met anywhere else.”
Pagosa is certainly the face of the county when it comes to communities, sitting as the largest and as the county seat, but, as a native like Lucero would know, Pagosa Country and Archuleta County have a lot to offer, much in the way of natural beauty, as was apparent when the topic of the area’s communities was reached.
“We have smaller communities, like we have Arboles, which is a unique place in itself. Arboles is actually a sleeping giant because of the lake and the beauty down there,” Lucero says. “People are fortunate to be able to live down there. It’s mostly a ranching community, but it’s beautiful. We’re fortunate to have that location near us.”
“And the Chromo area — just the scenic beauty of Chromo is amazing. I drive out there in the fall just to look at the colors. It’s a great little piece of this county.”
“And Fourmile. The wildlife up on Fourmile. You can take a drive up there any time of the year and see a grouse, you can see an elk, birds, deer. It’s beautiful up there,” Lucero says. “Same thing with Mill Creek. It’s the exact same thing. The colors, the wildlife and there’s not a lot of people up there, either. When you go up there, you can just take a drive and go for miles and not see anyone. It’s unique in the sense that it’s pristine, it’s private, it’s beautiful.”