By: Ahni Rocheleau, New Mexico State Coordinator The people of the Acoma Pueblo came out for a community conversation, and the officers of the Laguna Pueblo provided a three-day escort through Laguna Pueblo lands where no roads could otherwise carry the marchers through safely. New Mexico is a young state so Marchers often were forced to walk through fields where no roads existed. Also, the march was made even more special by many of their generous hosts and we wish to publicly thank the Ancient Way Cafe, the Squash Blossom Farms, the Santa Fe Community, Santuario of Chimayo, Hanuman Temple of Taos, New Buffalo of Arroyo Hondo, and the Lama Foundation who offered great hospitality, among other generous contributors, which either housed and/or fed these dedicated Marching Spirits.
New Mexico is an arid drought-stricken land on the front lines of the climate crisis faced with utility companies that still prefer to expand fossil fuels instead of renewable energy sources. The Climate Marchers awareness campaign made an impact on this state’s residents and the Marchers themselves are still ooing and awing over the enchantingly unique New Mexican landscape, and the warm and loving people they encountered throughout New Mexico. We received so many responsive commentaries about the kind heart-felt welcome they received throughout this state; especially by Native American communities. The Zuni Nation made available their Detention Center during one of New Mexico’s gale-force windstorms and blessed the evening with a special Katsina ceremonial dance for the marchers.
Moving speeches were delivered by devoted environmental stewards of New Mexico as well as by the Marchers themselves at three different processions followed by rallies, one each in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos. Taos was a rainy down-pouring one, but it was joyfully lead by Rev. Dr. Buddhist Monk Yusen Yamoto who led the cross-USA “Global Peace Walk 2000. Rain is viewed as a great blessing and good sign in New Mexico, and hence was truly welcomed. Marchers were honored to receive a prayer from the Lt. Governor Lawrence T. Lujan of the 800-year-old Taos Pueblo and the song and stories of Patricia McCabe “Woman Stands Shining” to assist in carrying them forth. Our communities came together to offer dozens of volunteers, mayoral speeches, storytellers, Native American songs, blessings, and words of wisdom.
A first in the nation, the carbon draw down choir, was born out of nationally acclaimed Littleglobe Theater in Santa Fe. This call and response choir called, “RE-Weave,’ is a model program that cities and towns across America can duplicate as a friendly way to communicate the complexity of climate to people from all walks of life! Santa Fe also hosted the international “The Life Cairn Project” honoring species and islands threatened or extinct due to human activity. Climate Marchers as discussion panelists “launched” Santa Fe’s Sustainable Sundays Film Series!
All of these events and miles of marching were sustained by awe-inspiring views of the high desert plains and mountains of New Mexico accompanied by the sounds of howling coyotes in the night. The Climate Justice Gypsy Band, made up of the talents of the devoted Marchers, brought “community” to the group in the spirit of the great Civil Rights Marches of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Women’s Suffrage, and the Native American Longest March 1 & 2.
New Mexicans have been expanded in their consciousness of climate change through this valuable awareness campaign and are talking and acting with added commitment, with the aim of turning this sunny state into a solar and wind leader and exporter!
New Mexicans truly thank Ed Fallon for his vision of The Great March For Climate Action.
Special thanks to: Fiesta Beverage, the Menaul School, Farm House Cafe, SMU Ft. Burgwin, Penasco Middle School Kewa Pueblo, Kagyu Mila Guru Stupa, Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum and Park, Sangre de Cristo Youth Ranch Camp, David and Donald Montaya, Santa Ana Pueblo, Taos Goji Eco-Lodge, Alma Duran, the City of Grants, and National Forest Service of New Mexico.