February 2016

Health Is Wealth

  Camilla Trujillo What I know about time is that it is fluid. And everything I need to know comes from people who were long gone by the time I came into this world. My grandmother Tonita, old when I was born, was my most beloved relative until she died at almost 100, when I was 26. Everything about Tonita was infused with the memory of generations of farming and ranching along the Río Nambé. In my formative years, daily reminders of ancestors, who not only helped form me but who still observed my life from somewhere not here, kept me on More >

Denes Antonio Luján (1937–2004): A Legacy of Love and Healing

  Montserrat Valles Albesa Denes Antonio Luján, a.k.a. “Cheesy,” was born and grew up in Española, New Mexico, as the seventh in a family of nine siblings. After high school, he attended Highlands University in Las Vegas. However, he had such a great passion for horses that, in 1961, he decided to go to Ratón, and start a career as a horse trainer and jockey at La Mesa Park Racetrack. This job allowed him to travel to various cities with racetracks, in New Mexico, Florida, Nebraska and California. His was a long and difficult path of personal growth and self-discovery, but he More >

The Ten Elements of Great Health

  Daniel Gagnon As a human being, you are a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual ecosystem. It is important to understand that good physical health does not exist independently of the lifestyle decisions we make. We each exist in a personal and collective ecosystem within which our physical bodies interrelate with our internal processes and our external surroundings. No system of health care, herbal or otherwise, can cure a physical condition existing in an ecosystem that is out of balance. Personal choice is the most important element in maintaining the health of the ecosystem. Who we are is the sum of the choices More >

Health, Wellness and the Healing Arts

  Japa K. Khalsa As I sit by my decidedly New Mexican woodstove, basking in my warm adobe house this winter, I feel the heat on my skin and remember how the amazing state of New Mexico has certain idiosyncrasies that call for extra self-care. The dryness and elevation unique to our state give it a quaint charm and beauty, as well as the gorgeous skies, but they can be hard on the body. I turn to ancient medicine for healing, especially now because of the pressure of modern times that we live in. I invite you to expand your self-care for More >

“Healer, Know Thyself” – A New Paradigm of Ethics and Healing in Health Care

  Health care is ready for a shift. A grassroots movement to humanize health care from within, through the people, is gaining momentum. Research has shown that
  • Physicians have one of the highest rates of suicide of any profession.
  • Too often, nurses bully each other.
  • Health-care professionals are challenged with self-care.
  • Health-care professionals tend to isolate or silo and are often splintered through hierarchy and within professional groups.
  • New Mexico is losing its diverse, local workforce.
The research is clear; changes in organizational culture come from leadership. And leadership is made up of people. Humanizing health care involves a two-pronged approach. More >

UNM to Study Native American Health Impacts of Abandoned Mines

The University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy has landed a $3.5-million grant to study the exposure of Native American communities to metal mixtures from unremediated, abandoned hardrock mine sites. The award from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities will enable UNM researchers to form the Center for Native American Environmental Health Equity Research (Native EH Equity), which also will provide training and community environmental health workshops in collaboration with tribal colleges throughout the western United States. Nearly half of the Native American population in the United States lives More >

The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership: An Update

  The environments in which we live, work, learn and play have a life-long impact on our health. Governments and organizations make decisions to create and enact policies that, to a large extent, determine the qualities of our environments and how they impact us. Thus, it is imperative that health considerations are embedded into decision-making processes across a broad array of sectors. The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership (NMHEP) is an initiative of the Santa Fe Community Foundation. Its mission is to help strengthen the capacity of New Mexico communities to advocate for systemic and policy changes that support healthy children More >

Undoing the Web of Addiction and Reweaving the Mantle of Caring y Amor

  Alejandro López “After the historically isolated indigenous peoples of Tierra del Fuego, Chile, South America, were decimated in the late 1800s and their cultures disrupted by waves of invading Europeans, the surviving population succumbed to alcoholism.” – The Pearl Button, a documentary film on the indigenous peoples of Tierra del Fuego (2015) Northern New Mexico’s incidence of substance abuse, especially among its minority-classified but numerically significant Indo-Hispano and Native American youth, is endemic—at least, five times the national average in many communities. Few are the families not affected by this scourge, which, since the 1970s and ‘80s, has prematurely taken the More >

A Proposed Root Cause of Northern New Mexico’s Opiate Problem

  Juan Blea. M.Ed., LADAC While it can be difficult to uncover the root cause of northern New Mexico’s pathological relationship with opiates, there are two facts that provide strong clues about the potential origin of said relationship: 1) opiates are commonly used in the medical domain to treat pain; and 2) language mediates between humanity’s inner and outer experiences. These facts allow me to place my crosshairs upon what I believe is at the core of northern New Mexico’s opiate problem: the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Heroin has been vilified in the region and perhaps rightfully so. However, to look at More >

La Semilla Food Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico

  Dolores E. Roybal Doña Ana County is a large, rural county with widespread communities. Many residents have difficulty getting to a full-service grocery store that sells fresh, affordable food. Even in the city of Las Cruces, a poor neighborhood near the heart of downtown doesn’t have a grocery store within a mile of residents’ homes. Seniors often rely on relatives for rides and get to a store infrequently, making it challenging to buy produce, which can spoil. To get to the closest store, one man in his late 70s carries a basket and walks two miles round-trip, sometimes in 100-degree temperatures.

This More >

The FARMacy and Food Is Medicine Workshops

Growing a Healthier Health Care System in Albuquerque’s South Valley


Travis McKenzie “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food.” – Hippocrates Fresh, local, organic food heals our minds, bodies and souls. Foods and herbs have been used to heal and sustain our lives for a long, long time. It is only recently in human existence that we have been forced to deal with a bombardment of cheap, processed, industrial junk food that is poisoning people and creating health disparities for low-income communities while creating big profits for huge corporations. It is only in recent times that we have been devaluing More >

Healing with Honey

  Erica Elliott, M.D. During my training as a young doctor in the early 1980s, a mentoring surgeon confided in me that, on rare occasions, he used raw honey on wounds that didn’t heal. From the conspiratorial tone of his voice, I understood I was not supposed to talk about home remedies to anyone. The mere mention of honey in connection with wound healing ran the risk of sounding ignorant and unprofessional. After stepping off the golden path of mainstream medicine and practicing on my own in the early 1990s, I had the freedom to practice medicine in a way that was More >

EVERYDAY GREEN: Preventing Environmental Illness

  Susan Guyette It can happen to anyone—and does. It happened to me, even though I considered my lifestyle healthy. This article focuses on the most common form of environmental illness, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, commonly known as MCS. MCS results from toxic exposures causing neural or nervous-system damage and is a life-changing, 24/7 illness. The earlier the diagnosis, the more reversible the illness is. For this reason, recognizing early symptoms is essential for protecting yourself. The occurrence of MCS is rapidly increasing—now at 11 to 16 percent of the United States population—in varying stages of the illness. (Source: Rocky Mountain Environmental Health More >

Houses That Heal

  Catherine Wanek If some buildings make us sick, can some buildings make us healthy? For many years, this question has motivated the personal and professional lives of architect Paula Baker and builder Robert Laporte. Their collaboration—the evolution of which they call an “econest”—provides an affirmative answer. As conceived by the Baker-Laportes, an econest is a crafted timber-frame structure with straw-clay infill, earthen plasters and nontoxic finishes. The house is carefully designed for its occupants, is placed mindfully on the site, and follows a healthy building process that includes educating the construction crew about alternatives to potentially toxic materials and techniques. Paula’s More >

Book Profile–The EcoNest Home: Designing & Building a Light Straw Clay House

By Paula Baker-Laporte and Robert Laporte 320 pages, New Society Publishers (2015) An EcoNest is not just a home; it is a beautiful structure that nurtures health and embraces ecology, bringing together time-honored traditions and modern innovations for the best of both worlds. This unique approach to construction combines light straw clay, timber framing, earthen floors, natural plasters and other natural techniques with the principles of Building Biology to create a handcrafted living sanctuary. The homes have all the comforts we’ve come to expect, but they sit lightly on the land and will do so for a long, long time. The EcoNest More >

New Nature Movement

Richard Louv at the Lensic Feb. 21


Maureen Eich VanWalleghan A love of nature can at times reveal a love of the wild—of places that are unkempt, untamed. There is something so amazing and enthralling to see a waterfall, the power of which is mesmerizing. Or to ponder the thick underbrush just off the trail, a tangle of branches, flowers and plants rustling with little scurrying sounds of unseen creatures. Looking at a sunset over land that is free of the manmade and listening to the nightfall sounds taps into a human heart. It beats faster as adrenaline circulates and the More >

Op-Ed: Protect the Río Chama Watershed Now

  William Clark The Río Chama Watershed, east of the San Juan Basin, is a platform that rises up from the Continental Divide and extends east into the Tusas Mountains. It is the largest contributor to the Río Grande Watershed—the source of water for more than 60 percent of New Mexico. The Chama Watershed sits within the political boundary of New Mexico’s Río Arriba County. The confluence of the Río Chama with the Río Grande is just north of Española. It is this geological formation that creates a microclimate and recharging zone for the greater Río Grande Watershed. Within this zone lies More >

Newsbites – February 2016

The University of New Mexico’s Center for Life The UNM Center for Life (CFL) treats people with a wide range of health issues, using a vast array of ancient and modern techniques. This nonprofit, state-of-the-art integrative, intercultural center emphasizes prevention and wellness along with disease management. In addition to clinical services, the CFL provides medical education, research and community services. Integrative medicine is a healing-oriented practice that takes account of the whole person—mind, body and spirit—including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies. When a pediatric patient is fighting cancer and going More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – February 2016

  Feb. 3, 17, 24, 9-10 am

One Million Cups

Fat Pipe ABQ, 200 Broadway Blvd. NE

Network with local entrepreneurs and hear their stories. 505.227.8802, fatpipeabq.com


Feb. 3, 5:30-7 pm

Green Drinks

Hotel Andaluz, 125 Second St. NW

Network with people interested in doing business locally, clean energy alternatives and creating sustainable opportunities in our communities. Presented the first Wednesday of each month by the ABQ and Río Rancho Green Chamber. info@nmgreenchamber.com, www.greendrinks.org


Feb. 4, 5:30-7 pm

Water in the Contemporary Pueblo World

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW

First of a 4-part discussion series curated by Pueblo scholar Daryl Lucero on the role of water in Pueblo life More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe – February 2016


Feb. 1-14

Fiber Rocks!

El Museo Cultural, 555 Cam. de la Familia

Fiber Art Exhibition honoring the Mesa-Prieta petroglyphs. Sponsored by the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center. 505.747.3577, www.evfac.org


Feb. 1-29

Flashing on the Sixties

El Museo Cultural, 555 Cam. La Familia

A trip back to the garden with Lisa Law. An exhibit of the Museum of the Sixties including 90 photographs, posters and displays of art by Wavy Gravy and Tony Price. Every day but Mondays, 1-5 pm; weekends 11 am-4 pm. Free. 505.992.0591.


Through July 31

Lloyd Kiva New: Art, Design and Influence

Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, 108 Cathedral Pl.

Exhibition honoring the late Cherokee artist/educator/IAIA director More >