Get the Facts on the “Buckhorn Renovation Project”

John Baldonado, owner of Canyon Light Counseling, is using the open forum of the August 16th 6:00PM Cloudcroft School Board meeting to give a presentation on “Heart of Dreams” his ongoing renovation project of the Buckhorn Cabins. We urge all interested parties to attend this meeting to get the facts about the proposed live-in facility directly from the owner. If you cannot attend, an audio podcast will be posted following the meeting at

Site of the proposed "Heart of Dreams" facility in Cloudcroft

The following is a post by Margo Whitt from her blog “People Concerned About Cloudcroft Municipal Schools”
The “Buckhorn Renovation Project,” found under “Information” should be a presentation by Mr. John Baldonado, who is renovating the cabins (which are located directly across the street from the High School) to turn them into a “Counseling and Clinic Services” live-in facility called “Heart of Dreams.” He is also the owner of Canyon Light Counseling, in Alamogordo. To see more information on Mr. Baldonado, visit My understanding is that the department of corrections and the judicial branch refer folks to Canyon Light for counseling on things like sex offenses, substance abuse, anger management, and mental health issues. (When the DOC and judicial branch are referring people, that generally means they are on parole or probation.) It is not clear to me what a live-in facility like Heart of Dreams will mean. In the world of parole and probation, a live-in facility that offers learning and life skills, but where the residents are free to come and go, is called a “halfway house.” People are generally paroled there after their stay in prison so they can learn to adjust to society, gain life skills, seek employment, and get counseling for the problems that got them into trouble in the first place. (Did I mention that this is directly across the street from the High School?)

I spoke with Cloudcroft’s Mayor, Dave Venable, today and asked about the facility. I didn’t get a lot of information, other than the fact that they will be paying a lodger’s tax. Dave said the facility was zoned as a rental facility or hotel or motel. He could not say how long folks would be staying at the Heart of Dreams, nor could he say where they were being employed. He said the facility was to provide “learning skills.” My understanding is Heart of Dreams got a variance this week to put a fence around the facility. (Speaking of fences, how do you like that razor wire job around the lift station?)

Here is the brochure for the Heart of Dreams facility planned for the old Buckhorn cabins, across the street from the High School. I learned of the brochure from the Adult Probation and Parole folks down in Alamogordo.

About Margo Whitt
I am the mother of two children that attend Cloudcroft Schools. I have two blogs, People Concerned about Cloudcroft Municipal Schools and Cloudcroft Green that are meant to increase parents’ involvement with the school and each other. Remember, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!


  1. Comment by Robert:

    These facilities are common throughout the US and there is also a common denominator common to the these facilities….increase in property crimes and narcotic use within the community This is fact not a xenophobic response to the situation.

  2. Comment by NMRandy:

    I’m not a resident of Cloudcroft, but a frequent visitor.  This facility, if it is a rehab/halfway house, does not belong in a town like Cloudcroft, which is a tourist/recreation-based area. And especially across from a school.  The thought is just nonsense.  It has the potential to change the town’s ‘atmosphere’ from ‘quaint/leisure’ to ‘on edge/proceed with caution’.  Which would only discourage visitors, the town’s primary livelihood.  If their are no zoning and/or voter referendum type processes that would allow a consensus approval, possibly there might be some state/federal $$ that could be used to incentify Canyon Light Counseling to NOT put this facility within the city limits.

  3. Comment by Lifeisabowlofkibble:

    I was so surprised to see the distance between the school and the location of the rehab facility  is only a few ft.  I ran a search to find out if New Mexico had laws in place to prevent ex-prisoners, I am sure there is a better word,  from living so close to children.  This is what I found. 

    I took this from KRQE  New Mexico does not have a law that prohibits registered offenders from
    living near a school. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department said
    it’s up to probation and parole to limit how close rapists and child
    molesters can be to kids.

    Life goes on after prison but I am not comfortable with it being so close to our children.  And without jobs in the Cloudcroft area, what are they going to do during the day to occupy their time?  How can you achieve “Life Skills” without employment?  I suppose I need more information to help me understand.

  4. Comment by Burroflatsman:

    It is really interesting how the “adchoices” assigns relevant ads to the sidebar of this page.  Maybe tells us something?

  5. Comment by guest:

    Why don’t you just stop and ask or call John and ask him what Heart of Dreams is about?  Why do people always get their “facts” from gossip and people trying to stir the pot?

  6. Comment by Fred:

    More fear mongering from Cloudcroft’s No.1 source of misinformation online.

  7. Comment by PJ:

    This is their third attempt to open such a facility – not sure where the first one was, second was in Alamogordo and was closed because they didn’t want it there (the citizens of Alamogordo) – now Cloudcroft and we don’t want them either!

  8. Comment by PJ:

    Found out from the source – not from fear mongering gossips!  Get YOUR facts straight before you spread YOUR rumors and misinformation!  You want it so bad, invite them into your home …

  9. Comment by JDY:

    and that would be who Fred?  You?

  10. Comment by JacqueTanis:

    Thank you Margo for the work you are doing in our community … it’s nice to know you have our back!  Keep up the good work girl …