Place:  Petroglyph National Monument

Location:  Albuquerque, New Mexico   

Person interviewed:  Cecilia Chavez Beltran, Leader, Excursions a la Naturaleza de Nuevo Mexico

How this place/site benefits you and your community: I lead nature walks for native Spanish speakers, we call them Spanish Language Outings. Due to fear of the unknown, society, political times, and their own personal fears, most of the participants have not walked in nature.

We have a la plática (sit around and chat) and together we develop short outings, discuss where to go, what to wear, what to bring and where to park the cars.  The outings are free of charge and nearby, there are no expectations, we just go for a walk.

With support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund the Petroglyphs National Monument is protected and open for all people to explore.  These public spaces in nature are important for everyone to experience, for the Spanish language outings participants, our conversations and experiences in nature opens up a little bit more of their perceptions of what is around them and what is possible.  It’s why permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund is important.

Our outings to the Petroglyphs are fantastic. We talk about the history of the land and the native American people who were here. We all have different ideas and concepts about what these lands used to be, the one version that we always talk about is that this is native land and how we enjoy this land and have to always respect it. The work is a blessing because the reactions from these adult women, these hard working, survivors, when they are in nature is beautiful.