Since 1976, the New Mexico Program has identified with the struggles of local people to empower themselves, with particular attention to water and land use and the need to support traditional ways of life. This community depends upon the ability of youth and other residents to make efficient use of and protect the natural resource base.
The Hispanic population of north-central New Mexico is challenged on a broad set of issues of cultural survival in areas such as economic oppression and lack of self-determination. Protection of traditional land and water rights has been a central concern for the Program.
To this end, AFSC has assisted local people and organizations in regaining control over traditionally utilized water resources and determining their future use. The survival of these communities is highly dependent upon the next generation's ability to learn to manage and make use of these resources.
Goals and proposed activities:
- Facilitate the empowerment of people to protect their land and water rights;
- Help protect the environment and improve water quality;
- Improve the socioeconomic welfare of traditional communities and help them to gain and sustain access to decision-making processes;
- Put youth back in touch with traditional and sustainable means of managing the land and water resources of their communities through initiatives in education, public health, economic development, the arts and historic preservation