Runners pray for water between sacred springs in Ranchos and Hondo

By Cody Hooks
chooks@taosnews.com
Posted 4/18/19

By Cody Hookschooks@taosnews.comA group of runners met at the hot springs south of Taos in the early morning hours of Sunday (April 14). The steam came off the hot water as the sun rose over the …

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Runners pray for water between sacred springs in Ranchos and Hondo

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A group of runners met at the hot springs south of Taos in the early morning hours of Sunday (April 14). The steam came off the hot water as the sun rose over the mountains. It was the start of a 20-plus mile ceremonial run, a prayer to strengthen the ties between waters and communities.

"It was beyond powerful and beyond amazing," said Emileah Lujan, of Taos Pueblo. "I really think it was needed to not only connect the waters but connect all of the people who are fighting for the water and have [fought] for our water for years."

About 10 people ran with the group off and on throughout the day, though many supporters drove along and provided support along the way. The runners made their way through Taos, Taos Pueblo and eventually to the Manby Hot Springs in Arroyo Hondo.

They also stopped at an altar along U.S. 64 West, where Buck Johnston climbed a water well drilling rig in March for a four-day prayer and demonstration to bring attention to the Abeyta Settlement. Johnston was one of the runners on Sunday.

The New Mexico branch of the International Indigenous Youth Council hosted the ceremonial run.

"We are organizing in collaboration with local Taos Pueblo and Apache youth, to pray for the water and the land," read a note on Facebook from Lauren Howland, the New Mexico representative to the youth council.

"We sacrifice our comfortability on this day to remind everyone: indigenous youth are here, we are present and we are organizing. Respect the indigenous voice and prayer. Respect the land and respect the water," she said.

"The youth led by example the entire way, keeping the spirits high for all involved, and focused on the power of this ancient legacy of prayer that they carry so truly in their beings," said Sage Kohen, a water activist in Taos. "It is not easy to talk sense into senseless systems that only understand bottom lines based upon financial profit and unsustainable planning and grasping for more. When will more be enough?"

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