On May 15th 2017 in San Fidel, NM over 60 acequia parciantes and neighbors came together in celebration for the feast day of San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers. For 20 years now, the San Jose de la Cienega acequia association with the help of acequia leaders Beverly and Leon Tafoya have come together to bless their acequia, the farmers, and share a meal together all in honor of acequia lifeways.
The acequia blessing was led by Father Avella from the St. Joseph’s Parish in Grants who reminded the elders and youth about a teaching he learned growing up in Mexico. The story goes that a small pueblito who had a very sacred water source began to fight over the water. As they continued to fight the water suddenly went dry. Padre Avella reminded us that God, Mother Earth and our Ancestors want to remind us that water is sacred and only when a community comes together to irrigate, plant food, and feed their families that the water will continue to run. When we work hard with our sweat, carry on the traditions of our ancestors, love one another and the land, only then will the water continue to sustain us and bring us life.
After the prayer, Father Avella blessed the participants with water collected at the Congreso de las Acequias, agua bendita from the unified streams that feed acequias across the state. After anointing oneself with the water of all the acequias, each participant whispered intentions into a handful of rose petals then let them free into the running acequia.
After the blessing, the community had a huge feast as three discos sizzled with chicharones, roasters toppled with tamales, and traditional desserts filled the tables. Women, men, children, and neighbors shared stories, laughs, and plans about the planting season.
The NM Acequia Association loves to honor the numerous acequia traditions and gatherings that are happening across the state in honor of San Isidro and other agricultural celebrations to remind us why we continue to do this hard work and to honor the communities who carry on the love and sacred traditions of the acequias!
Que Vivan las Acequias del Rio San Jose!