The New Mexico Acequia Association
The mission of the New Mexico Acequia Association is to protect water and our acequias, to grow healthy food for our families and communities, and to honor our cultural heritage.
The Sembrando Semillas Youth Project was created in 2005 as a deeply rooted and intentional way to pass on local acequia knowledge and culture. Our central hope and mission is that future generations will embrace their identity as land-based people and continue their relationship to land, water, and food traditions.
This community-based, experiential learning network engages families and youth (primarily pre-K, elementary and middle school aged) in intergenerational projects that affirm cultural heritage through acequia practices, farming/gardening, food preparation and preservation, and medicine-making.
Each ‘Sem Sem’ site consists of a local family farm which serves as a learning site with the guidance of an experienced adult mentor. With the support of NMAA, youth from the host family and other families in the community come together to engage in seasonal activities related throughout the growing season. As part of the program, we also convene gatherings where the mentors and youth from across different communities come together to share stories, do projects, learn storytelling and multimedia skills, and to affirm cultural identity as land-based people.
NMAA currently supports ‘Sembrando Semillas’ sites in four communities: Abiquiu, Chamisal, Taos, and Atrisco (the South Valley of Albuquerque), and has previously supported additional sites in Mora, Servilleta, Peñasco and the Española Valley.
We are so thankful to our incredible Sem Sem mentors - Isabel & Virgil Trujillo (Abiquiu), Edward Gonzales (Chamisal), Margaret Garcia (Taos), and Lorenzo Candelaria (Atrisco).
Over the ten years of project activities, NMAA is proud to have supported the formation of a cadre of young leaders (over 100 youth participants) in various communities. These youth have gained experiences that affirm their culture, they have had numerous public speaking engagements, testified in legislative hearings, and represented NMAA at numerous state and national conferences.
The Sembrando Semillas project came into being with the vision and dedication of Juliet Garcia-Gonzales (NMAA Director of Operations), Miguel Santistevan (longtime NMAA supporter and youth educator), and Pilar Trujillo (former NMAA Youth Education Coordinator).
For more information about this project, contact Juliet Garcia-Gonzales - firstname.lastname@example.org or Emily Arasim - email@example.com.
View Sembrando Semillas videos on the AcequiaYouth YouTube page.
In recent years, the New Mexico Acequia Association established the Escuelita de las Acequias which is our service learning and leadership development program. We have worked closely with adults and youth from various acequia Read more