I have been interested in the cheap land being offered online in Costilla County (San Luis area), CO. I drove through on the way to Nebraska last year, and I must say the eBay auctions do not lie about the raw, rough beauty of the area. I am aware of the inhospitable nature of the "desert", and have had reservations really making plans towards starting a homestead there mostly because there are few to no jobs, and the precipitation/water catchment capability is so low. However, I did not (and really still haven't) given up on the dream of owning a food forest, or at least camping/vacationing in this amazing setting. The mountains and the rivers are sacred (as held by the natives). There are wild horses just living free out there. UFO sightings are regular (for better or worse). And if you can get past the newcomer shell I bet there is some very rich Sonoran and Native American culture to experience.
I feel like I shouldn't give up on the possibility, but I have come across some disturbing videos about the politics in Costilla county, from greedy politicians with God-complexes to threatened ranchers/locals who are feeling pressure on their water from the river drying up, feeling effects of irresponsible vagrants leaving trash around, taking tons of water for weed grows (whether that is true or only propaganda from the city officials trying to stir up trouble), etc., as well as possible issues of class-ism against "off-gridders" (who are lumped in with the growers, meth labs, and all-around trashy people that literally trash the place and pillage resources without a second thought) and even a possible racism problem against non-Latinos. There seems to be a few vigilante Mayors and Council members who are running a muck with the residents, kicking people off their land and demolishing their properties via code enforcement. YOU MUST HAVE A SEPTIC TANK EVEN IF YOU LIVE IN AN RV. YOU MUST ALSO HAVE A SPECIAL PERMIT JUST TO LIVE IN AN RV, and I believe last year it was made illegal (for a period) to live in an RV at all, until they said OK OK but you need one of these swank county permits. Of course many eBay sellers leave this info. out of their auctions.
Anyone who is looking at buying land in this affordable and amazing area would do well to search Alex Ansary Costilla County on YouTube and watch the city planning meeting and other videos about his experiences moving from Portland and trying to live in an RV in Costilla (by permission by a private land owner). I am just trying to save you time/allow you to plan for your obstacles that you will face moving here like he and his fellows. I truly hope someone, or a few people end up moving there and making a difference to actually help and assimilate with the community from outside someday, but more preparations would definitely need to be made, be warned. Without preparations, you will likely not find freedom in this land, esp. if you plan on not having a septic tank or costly road permit yadda yadda yadda
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It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show