Cornerstones Community Partnerships began in 1986 under the umbrella of the New Mexico Community Foundation. The program was known as Churches: Symbols of Community. By 1994, program activities had outgrown the foundation’s capacity and became its separate entity known as Cornerstones Community Partnerships, a New Mexico non-profit corporation. Over the years, Cornerstones worked with communities at approximately 350 sites in Northern New Mexico, throughout the greater Southwest and along the Mexican Frontera. Three of the most historic sites Cornerstones preserved date to the 17th century. The sites are San Esteban del Rey in Acoma Pueblo, NM; La Purisima Concepcion in Socorro, TX; and San Miguel Chapel in Santa Fe, NM.
Cornerstones held numerous workshops at community sites to train youth and community members in traditional building techniques. To improve Cornerstone’s abilities to help communities, Cornerstones hired experts in lime plastering from Mexico and England and held lime-plastering workshops throughout one summer. An expert in stained glass from the East coast held workshops over two weekends training employees and volunteers in the technique.
Today, Cornerstones strives to include a youth training component in the process of making adobes, repairing walls, and mud plastering at hands-on preservation projects.
In recent years, Cornerstones has worked extensively with the National Park Service hosting stabilization and preservation workshops at various national parks throughout the West.