On Saturday, November 21, 2015, nearly 300 acequia leaders and supporters gathered at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque for the 16th Annual Congreso de las Acequias! It was a record turnout for an event that was packed with opportunities to learn and build a stronger statewide movement of water defenders. Nearly 100 people shared water for the Bendicion de las Aguas led by Sister Joan Brown and NMAA featured for the first time testimonials of local water struggles through "Stories in Defense of Water," in which sixteen local leaders shared their stories of water protests, acequia projects, and lawsuits in defense of water. Several families and youth gave a beautiful presentation on the Sembrando Semillas learning network of intergenerational community food projects in communities around New Mexico. Cornelio Candelario Organics and Grow the Future shared their inspiring story of connecting acequia food and agriculture to local schools.
The event also featured New Mexico's Centennial Poet, Levi Romero, State Engineer, Tom Blaine, and several awardees including legislators who were awarded the Ben Lujan Leadership Award, which was given out by Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and his family. The event concluded with the business meeting of the Congreso de las Acequias during which several resolutions on various initiatives and policy positions. These will be posted soon on www.lasacequias.org.
Que Vivan las Acequias!!!