Acequias are beautiful, functional and fragile systems integral to northern New Mexico’s past and vital to our future. They are glistening examples of time-tested, sustainable water management that not only provide water for agriculture but also allow us to directly engage with our environment.

 

Communities that developed around acequias—their history, customs, legends and laws—are unique to the Hispanic world. Celebrating their rich history, as well as their contemporary role in protecting Earth’s natural water cycles, fosters a public more informed about how we all benefit from the acequias, which leads to their preservation.

 

Taos entrepreneur Mary Domito and some friends came up with the idea of starting a Museum of the Acequia (MOTA) in Taos, to tell the story of these important resources. The vision of a modern repository for preservation and interpretation of historic, acequia-related artifacts and research includes year-round programming for local residents and schools, as well as an attraction for Taos’s many ecotourists. The educational offerings would bring direct exposure and support to the functioning acequia systems irrigating more than 25,000 acres of the Taos Valley. With multiple oral-history and living-history opportunities that could be led by parciantes and mayordomos, as well as modern botanists, healers, landscape architects and designers, the possibilities for how this museum could protect, preserve and promote the use and preservation of our acequias are limited only by our imaginations.

 

This proposal announcement is offered here to help the MOTA team measure public sentiment for this project. If sufficient support is evident, subsequent efforts will require the setup of a more formal group structure and professional leadership. If you are interested in supporting this effort with your time, funding or expertise, contact Mary Domito at taosmary@gmail.com or Paul Figueroa at pcf1947@yahoo.com