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Amache Relocation Center

Prowers County, Colorado

“Think about where your money goes. That’s how you create relationships.”
- Dr. Bonnie Clark, Director, University of Denver Amache Project

The University of Denver (DU) Amache Project is funded by many sources, including the History Colorado – State Historical Fund, the University of Denver’s Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship and Learning, and private donors. The project is headquartered at DU but field work takes place in Granada, a town with a population of 400 on Colorado’s far southeastern plains. The project focuses on Amache, a World War II Japanese-American internment camp.

Over its six field seasons, the DU Amache Project has attracted hundreds of students, Amache community members, and volunteers to Granada, to take part in an archaeological project that requires substantial provisioning.

Says Dr. Clark:

We could buy our equipment and supplies and contract for services in Lamar, the nearest “large” town. It would probably be the least expensive way to go. However, we want to partner with members of the community and we want those relationships to be constructive and strong. So instead we make our highest priority spending our money in Granada and at nearby locally owned businesses.

  • We buy our gasoline and daily ice at the Stop2Shop in Granada

  • We buy our groceries at Reyman’s in Holly, Colorado

  • We purchase our supplies at Big H Builders in Holly.

  • We hire a local Home Economics teacher as our cook.

  • We hire high school summer interns from Granada High school and from the descendants of the Japanese-Americans incarcerated at Amache, and we pay them a living wage for their work.

  • We house our staff and students at the Amache Research Center in Granada, a facility managed by the Amache Preservation Society. Our rent supports their mission. We house our volunteers at the Holly Inn Suites, in Holly.

As a rough estimate, we estimate that we moved about $14,000 of project money into the local economy during our 2018 field season. The 25 staff, students, and volunteers also spent money at local shops during their stay, as did the over 100 people who attended our two open house days.

We work with all these people throughout the field season, and the number and cross-cutting nature of the relationships strengthens the project socially, economically, and intellectually.

Photos generously provided by the University of Denver Amache Project.


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