Rainbow Group Descends on Cuba
Rainbow Family Descends On NM Town
Tens Of Thousands Expected To Gather In Forest
June 10, 2009
CUBA, N.M. -- The tiny New Mexico village of Cuba is preparing to
greet tens of thousands of visitors as they await the annual Rainbow
Family gathering in the nearby woods.
"It is free of charge. You've just got to show up," said Texas
traveler Eric Koda.
Stephanie Prieto said she has already met some of the family members
at her store.
"They got a pair of shoes and dry socks," she said.
People from around the world are already showing up to settle in the
forest. While some estimates of the crowd range between 30,000 and
75,000 -- no one is really sure.
"The number just keeps on growing," said Rebecca Ames, who lives nearby.
With a crowd that size, there are concerns about what the people will
be doing. Koda said that the gathering is about peace and love, but
for some it's a big party.
"There are drinkers there," he said. "They've got camps like A-camp,
that's the alcoholic camp. We stay away from those, I do at least."
There's enough concern that the village is planning a public hearing
next week to discuss what it called "the potential threats of the
invasion of the gathering."
"I don't know that Cuba is ready for that many people," said Mayor
He said that, among other things, Cuba doesn't have a lot of
resources like ambulances for a crowd that size. He said his
community is going to need a lot of help.
"I just need to make sure the health and safety of people are taken
care of," he said.
While Velarde calls in resources, residents are divided.
"I don't see it as a really big deal," Prieto said. "I see it more as
Woodstock or something."
"This sounds like something they need to get under control now," Ames said.
The gathering officially runs from July 1-7. Attendees are expected
to mostly stay in the forest.