Kristina Ortez: Rio Fernando de Taos

Photo: With Kristina Ortez on the Rio Chama near Taos, New Mexico

“Querencia,” is a word used by the people of Taos and northern New Mexico to describe their sense of rootedness in place.

In this episode, we hear from Kristina Ortez, executive director of the Taos Land Trust. While working in Indonesia about twenty years ago, thousands of miles away from her home, Kristina had an experience that developed her passion for protecting the environment and community engagement. Through her story, we’ll learn how she became connected to rivers and Taos. Along the way, we’ll discover the importance of Rio Fernando de Taos to her community and take a trip on the enchanting Rio Chama.   

Kristina Ortez, Executive Director, Taos Land Trust, at the Rio Chama, New Mexico

Over the last ten years, Kristina has become rooted in Taos and northern New Mexico. We’ll learn how Kristina and the land trust worked to protect an important 20-acre wetland and agricultural property in Taos as well as efforts that led to forming the Rio Fernando de Taos Revitalization Collaborative. We’ll also hear from Kristina about the importance of racial and cultural diversity within environmental organizations in order to reflect and address the needs of the communities they serve. 

As we learn from Kristina, her community is indeed “doing the work” to steward their cherished lands and waterways.  

Kristina highlights the importance of play in the outdoors. Fittingly matching Kristina’s energy and passion, our episode concludes with a river trip to discover the wild and scenic Rio Chama.  

We’re excited to bring Kristina’s story to you on World Rivers Day 2020. To learn more about her work and the Rio Fernando de Taos Revitalization Collaborative, go to Taos Land Trust.   

Visit RiverSpeak Podcast for photographs and other news and information related to our episodes.

All rivers have stories that ripple.  

I’m Dave Koehler. Be well, and do good work.