City of the Sun Foundation, Inc

Last updated: March 1, 2016 (7 months ago)

Listing created on: November 9, 2004

City of the Sun Foundation, Inc

(Columbus, New Mexico, United States)

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1972
  • Start Living Together: 1974
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community.
  • Contact Name: [email protected]
  • Phone: 575-531-2637
  • Community Address:
    City of the Sun Foundation, Inc
    PO Box 370
    Columbus, New Mexico, 88029
    United States

Mission Statement:

City of the Sun is an incorporated intentional community. Our goals are to live and work cooperatively in a healthy climate. We encourage tiny house construction, solar energy, and Sun-Mar composting toilets (approved by the State of New Mexico). A few have small gardens, difficult in this hot, dry climate.

Community Description:

Founded in 1972, City of the Sun is located on 157 acres in Luna County, New Mexico, adjacent to the to Village of Columbus. Columbus is located on Highway 11, thirty miles south of Deming (off I-10), and three miles north of Palomas, Mexico. Our goal is to live and work in mutual cooperation; to explore methods of gardening and horticulture in the desert. Our spiritual beliefs vary, all paths welcome. We have Sufi, Pagan, Christian, Native American, to name a few. We often offer workshops in the fall about making bokashi and using effective microorganisms. We have a designated off-grid area for alternative housing, solar energy, and composting. We have one irrigation well. Some residents use solar water distillers. Due to lack of jobs in the area, residents must be self-sufficient or very creative.

We have a small sleeping room for short term rental for prospective visitors or guests. Some members have space available to rent, and we have 3 low-tech RV sites. Our focus is on gardening using terra pretta concepts of bio-char, bokashi, effective microorganisms (EM) raising chickens and other critters, and developing a cachement system for water. To live in our area, one must be self-supporting (on-line businesses?). Few jobs are available, mostly farm labor and other low-income labor.


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Spiritual or Religious Community, Unspecified, or Other
  • Location: Small Town


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 157 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Mobile homes, RV’s, converted buses, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 25
  • Planned number of residences: 50
  • Land owned by: Community controlled land trust
  • Additional Comments: the Foundation holds the land in trust until 2072


  • Adult Members: 25
  • Non-member Residents: 3
  • Percent Women: 31-40%
  • Percent Men: 51-60%
  • Percent Transgender: 1-10%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: Email or write in advance to arrange for an escort or for sponsorship to stay a bit. You may need permission from some members to visit their alternative houses. Please be prepared to camp, have an RV, or arrange a rental before you come.
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process: Prospective members are invited to visit or rent for a time to see if the community is right for them. They then present their membership application and payment plan for the membership fee of $1750.00 at a regularly scheduled membership meeting, and answer any questions. The membership fee allows a member to select a home site and be given a certificate for lifetime use of the property. A ballot is then sent out to all members (we have some non-resident members) and the next month the count is taken – if approved the member is welcomed to the community!
  • Additional Comments: in the Light, toward the highest good, all denominations and paths welcome

    There is a large new public elementary school in Columbus NM with geothermal, greenhouse; the Columbus Village library has about 30 computers, and is a central focus for art shows and other community activities.


  • Decision Making: Voting (majority or super-majority rule)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments: Board of Directors guided by membership

    Board of Directors, elected by the membership

    full membership participation desirable


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: No
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)
  • Additional Comments: Members must be self-sufficient. We need visionary people who are enthused about saving the planet and using compost, solar, and living lightly on the earth. We really need people who can help with management: bookkeeping, treasurer, secretary, board members, maintenance supervisors, lagoon attendant, and enthusiastic members to develop programs. We’d welcome you!
    As able and willing, we have lagoon parties to clean brush around lagoon, maintain peace park, chop tumbleweeds or we have to hire it done.

    $1750 development fee

    currently about $30 per month per member for maintenance fees plus you pay water, electric (if on the grid) and a share in taxes for the land as well as taxes on any improvements on your home site.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Wind
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Library, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Rarely
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments: potlucks for workshops, holidays, birthdays – if there is interest.

    many vegetarians and vegans, some raw-fooders

    Bylaws express an ideal to reach for our higher selves, no matter where we are in our development at the moment.

    also many non-smokers. No smoking in public/shared spaces

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices)
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling
  • Expected Healthcare Practices: A nice ideal in reaching for one’s higher self, but that is up to the individual.
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

We’ve lasted longer than many!


alternative, gardening, housing

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.