United World College Volunteers Dig It on Saturday, April 20, 2006
April 21, 2006
Yesterday, the Villanueva North Acequia hosted a group of volunteer students and facility members from the Montezuma campus of the United World College.
The event was organized by Marvel Lanstra and Mayordomo Roy Gallegos of Villanueva. Shaun Mabry, of the United World College outreach program, graciously answered their call for assistance to an aging community. A small busload of volunteers, including Shaun and several other faculity members, arrived with shovels in hand -- ready for the annual task of cleaning the ditches.
Ditch digging is a back-breaking labor of love. The irrigation ditches, or acequias, are an essential system providing water to crops in agricultural areas of the southwest. The history of the acequias in New Mexico dates back to the early pueblos -- working irrigation systems were recorded by Spanish settlers as early as 1538.
The Villanueva acequias are fed by the Pecos River and help to create a fertile land for agriculture. The village of Villanueva and surrounding pueblos comprising "el valle" including San Miguel, Pueblo, and Sena continue to practice one of the earliest methods of permiculture -- the acequia irrigation system.
In an interview with Mayordomo Roy Gallegos after the event, Gallegos said "I was very pleased with the response from the United World College ... cannot begin to express my appreciation for the helping hands that showed up yesterday. On behalf of Ms. Lanstra and the entire community I would like to say "thank you" to Shaun Mabry and the students and faculity that pitched in and truly made a difference!"
If you would like to volunteer to help with the cleanup of the Villanueva North Acequia next spring or would like more information about the United World College outreach efforts, contact the following.
PO Box 125
Villanueva, NM 87583-0125
(505) 421-0611 or cell (505) 429-1786
PO Box 159
Villanueva, NM 85783-0158
Shaun D. Mabry
Services and Activities Coordinator
UWC-USA PO Box 248 Montezuma, NM 87731
(505) 454-4206 www.uwc-usa.org