Declaration of Core Values of the New Mexico Acequia Association
2010 Congreso de las Acequias
We honor the connection between water, land, life, and communities. We
believe that our acequias express the values of our culture and
identity as a land-based people. Just as our herencia came from
generations before us, we now have the responsibility of passing on our
traditions to youth and future generations.
2. For generations,
the well being of our communities has been sustained by sharing for the
benefit of the common good, a tradition known as repartimiento. Through
our acequias we have shared scarce water, between our families we have
shared food and seed, and through our labor we have helped one another.
The acequia cleaning, sacando la acequia, is an example of the shared
work inherent to our way of life.
3. We view water as a don
divino or divine gift from God and as a common resource that sustains
all life. Making a profit from selling water rights is a form of
disrespect to our ancestors, our core values, our way of life, and our
children and grandchildren.
4. Water rights should remain
connected to the acequia to nurture agricultural traditions, to
replenish aquifers, and to support the green ribbons of life along our
5. We respect the traditional knowledge of our elders,
which guides the day-to-day operation of acequias, the cultivation of
ancestral crops, and the care of our animals.
6. The worldview
that treats land, water and food as commodities threatens the continued
life of our communities. The pressures to move water out of agriculture
threaten to unravel acequias and the fabric of our communities.
We believe that we have the power to grow our own food locally rather
than importing most of our food through the industrial food system and
that this local food should be available and affordable to all our
families; not only the wealthy.
8. We believe that our ability
to grow our own food with the water from our acequias, the lands of our
families, and the seeds of our ancestors, make us a free people. Our
self-determination depends on retaining our ancestral lands and waters
under the stewardship that we inherited from our parents and
9. We believe that our acequias will remain
resilient by remaining rooted in centuries of traditions while also
involving new community members who embrace the culture and customs
intertwined with our acequias.
10. We seek to strengthen and
revitalize our acequias so that we can build vibrant and healthy
communities in which we grow more of our own food and we govern and
manage our waters for the benefit of our communities