Joe D. Lucero has a strong grip for a man of 81. Over the past 30 years, his calloused hands have built a six-room home-and sometime gathering place for the Isleta tribe-one room at a time, with no financial assistance from a bank.

Mr. Lucero and his wife, Lupita, are leaders of the pueblo of Isleta, a 200,000-acre reservation just 15 miles south of downtown Albuquerque, offering counseling to the 7,000 tribe members on issues ranging from baptism to marriage.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.