A number of folks who live and work in Taos and other locales in northern New Mexico are featured in the Green Living Project’s fascinating short film, “Ecotourism in New Mexico.” The 5 minute 30 second film is now online for an international audience to see. (http://www.greenlivingproject.com/projects/new-mexico/)
People profiled in the film include Stuart Wilde, owner of Taos’ Wild Earth Llama Adventures; Francisco “Cisco” Guevara, owner of Los Rios River Runners; Porter Swentzell, a guide at the Puye Cliff Dwellings of Santa Clara Pueblo; April Winters of Taos Pueblo; and Adriana Blake of Taos Ski Valley.
“I’m doing what I’m doing to make a difference here and I really hope that these experiences touch people in a way that’s going to bring something special back to their 9 to 5 daily lives at home,” said Stuart Wilde. “It’s the contribution of ecotourism back to the local community that we’re very excited about and I’m happy to be a part of that,” said Francisco “Cisco” Guevara. “Being able to open up a little bit of my home to people and allowing them to come and experience who we are firsthand rather than read it in a book – we feel it’s important to give that sense of our history,” said April Winters.
Sandy Cunningham of Eco New Mexico said, “Taos was chosen as a pilot program for our ecotourism program for a multitude of reasons, one of which was the readiness of the community – they stepped up and showed just what they’re about. They’ve been doing ecotourism for generations before it even had a name. Our guides and outfitters out in New Mexico bring everything to life; they’re such a great group of people to work with.”
Some ecotourism-related adventures in northern New Mexico:
• Wild Earth Llama Adventures – hiking adventures with minimal-impact llamas through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains help teach travelers about conservation ethics and wilderness protection. Visit llamaadventures.com for information or call 800.758.5262.
• Los Rios River Runners – raft the world renowned Taos Box or float through the Rio Chama canyon with an experienced rafting company. Visit losriosriverrunners.com or call 888.544.1181.
• Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa – regarded by Native Americans as sacred, Ojo Caliente mineral springs has been healing for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Enjoy a signature Milagro Wrap, a massage, or soak in healing waters and stay at the newly renovated resort. Visit ojocalientesprings.com or call 800.222.9162.
• Far Flung Adventures – from first time rafters to adrenaline junkies, experience a Southwest wilderness adventure on a raft. Visit farflung.com or call 800.359.2627.
• Taos Pueblo – Taos Pueblo, continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years, is the only Native American community designated as both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. Visit taospueblo.com for special events and fees or call 575.758.1028.
• Puye Cliff Dwellings and Pueblo Ruins – home to 1,500 Pueblo Indians since approximately 900 AD, ancestors to the Santa Clara Pueblo. Visit puyecliffs.com.
• Mountain Skills Rock Climbing – Experience a panoramic view of Taos with professional rock climbing guides. Visit www.climbingschool.usa.com for details or call 575.776-2222.
• Pueblo Balloon Company – Float through the Rio Grande Gorge in a hot air balloon and experience Taos from a bird’s-eye view. Visit puebloballooncompany.com or call 575.751.9877.