Upcoming Workshops are subject to change. Please email Nicole at for details:

George McDonald Ranch House

White Sands Missile Range, NM June 5-9
remove and reglaze windows, strip paint and repaint windows and trim

JO Ranch

Bureau of Land Management, WY
June 25-29
Aug. 8-13, 15-20
roof repair (installing shake shingles and corrugated metal roofing)
installing rehabilitated windows and doors
repair and repoint stone walls
repair wood floors
rebuild wooden porch floor and stoops
repair animal holes

St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Ojo Caliente, NM
now – June 28
mud plaster

Capilla de San Antonio

Chacon, NM
Aug. 19-26, Sept. 16-23
adobe repair and mud plaster


Cornerstones believes internships are a learning experience and should be mutually beneficial.  An internship can be a unique experience that may provide young people with their first paying job, expose them to new cultures, and develop a sense of responsibility and leadership.  Interns learn traditional building skills during hands-on workshops and many receive an hourly wage.

Through the auspices of US/ICOMOS, United States International Council of Monuments and Sites, Cornerstones frequently has interns from abroad who typically work with us for two months to one year. These may include young professionals with a background in architecture or preservation.  We have welcomed interns from India, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Panama, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Australia, Lithuania, Paraguay, Romania and currently, El Salvador.





We believe that a large part of our success is the result of the thousands of volunteer hours of donated labor from community adults, elders and youth for whom the experience helps strengthen pride in their community, bolstering cultural identity and traditions. Cornerstones also receives an enormous amount of volunteer assistance from others across New Mexico and the United States. This includes individuals, college and church groups who call and ask to volunteer. The experience introduces them to new cultures and practices. They also take with them the sense of pride that comes from having contributed to the preservation of a unique culture as well as productive and useful skills that will remain with them throughout their lives.

Volunteer Opportunities

Cornerstones relies on volunteer assistance. Volunteering, including at our workshops, is open to everyone at all skill levels. At projects in or near Santa Fe we often have visitors who are on holiday volunteer to take part.  We strive to make volunteering an interesting and fun experience as well as a learning one.

Cornerstones works with volunteers to make sure they get the most out of their experience – this can include paid interns who profit from learning both job and leadership skills.  Whether volunteers work for an hour or for days their participation is invaluable

Although we specialize in teaching traditional building methods, we have many other opportunities for volunteer work. We need people in capacities, such as photography, granting, camp cooks, or simply interested in sporadic jobs assisting with office needs. We need you ALL!  Email Nicole for details at

Adobe Conservation

Adobe Conservation: A Preservation Handbook by Cornerstones Community Partnerships

This richly illustrated guide is acknowledged as the best source for expert, field-tested information on the care and maintenance of historic adobe buildings—from small vernacular structures to the great Spanish Colonial missions. As a true “how-to” manual, it presents a user-friendly and straightforward approach to the assessment, maintenance, preservation and restoration of earthen buildings based on time-tested techniques. Excerpt from the back of Adobe Conservation: A Preservation Handbook.

As a public service, Cornerstones is making Adobe Conservation available for free from this website both as a single download and as a three-part download.

Adobe Conservation Handbook






Subjects include:

  • Architectural styles and materials
  • Tools and equipment
  • Materials and supplies
  • Emergency shoring
  • Moisture testing in adobe walls
  • Materials selection
    Mixing and testing
  • Making adobe bricks
  • Repairing and rebuilding adobe walls
  • Repairing cracks in adobe walls
  • Mud and lime plastering
  • Earthen and lime finishes
  • Removing contra paredes
  • Repairing corbels
  • Inspecting vigas and corbels
  • Splicing vigas
  • Compliance with State and Federal cultural resource protection legislation
  • Glossary of terms
  • Bibliography


We are very responsive to requests from organizations or others who call to ask if we would provide someone from Cornerstones to speak at a luncheon or a special event about what we do, our projects and how we do what we do.  We believe this is an important element in our endeavor to help the public understand the importance of preserving the historic fabric, architecture and traditions of Northern New Mexico and the greater Southwest.

We also work with schools and summertime youth organizations using programs we have specifically developed that help connect children with their culture and traditional building methods of the communities in which they live.