After years of planning and waiting, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe is building a new early childhood learning center. It’s called Itom Ili Tosapo Am RemtituaneOur Little Nest of Enlightenment Early Childhood Learning Center.

“The essence of the project is to serve our working families, but the deeper meaning is to serve our children and what we hope to do or will do is create Yaqui intellectuals,” Augustine Romero, the curriculum coordinator, said.

The project is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act in addition to several local and state grants. The goal is to help children grow in the culture and preserve the Pascua Yaqui language.

“For us the most important piece will be understanding the Yaqui culture, Yaqui history and Yaqui language,” Romero said.

Romero said the first phase will have kids from zero to three years old. Soon after, they’ll implement phase two, which will ultimately make the center available to kids from zero to six years old. He said they are still figuring out tuition prices and whether it will be free to tribe members.

The center will be completed in January 2025 and the grand opening will take place in July of 2025.