Local Group Will Honor Land Damaged by the El Guique Gravel Mine

by Staff Reporter / Jun 14, 2017 / comments
courtesy image

Local Group Will Honor Land Damaged by the El Guique Gravel Mine
Submitted Notice

Española - On Saturday, June 17, 2017, a local group will gather to honor one of the Earth’s “wounded places,” the El Guique gravel mine. The event is part of the 8th annual Global Earth Exchange, a worldwide day of remembering and honoring the “damaged” places in our communities.

Liz Gold, the event organizer, notes that gravel mines owned by the late Richard Cook “have caused habitat destruction, air and water pollution, and unsightly scarring in El Guique and Velarde, as well as destroying ancient petroglyphs and sacred sites.” The purpose of this event, Gold says, is not to protest or cause any damage but to “honor the land with a ceremony, an act of beauty.”

The group Radical Joy for Hard Times sponsors the Global Earth Exchange. “When the places we love are hurt, we hurt, too,” says Trebbe Johnson, who created the group. She notes that when the land or water becomes polluted, clear-cut, or damaged in some way, we tend to avoid or abandon it. The goal of Radical Joy for Hard Times is to help reestablish our personal relationships with these wounded places, and to return beauty and affection to them in exchange for the gifts they have given us. “We share our love for these places, acknowledge our sorrow for the damage caused, connect with people in our own community and communities around the world, and support one another in our ongoing work,” says Gold.

Gold notes that these ceremonies are especially important in a time when people are exhausted by grief for the worldwide damage caused by climate change. “You’d be surprised how much ‘radical joy’ one of these ceremonies can generate in these ‘hard times,’ ” she says. “It replenishes the soul.” Gold has led similar ceremonies in past years for the Railroad Avenue Superfund site, the Rio Grande at Buckman, the Santa Fe River, the Questa mine, and the Animas River in Colorado after the 2015 disaster.

Gold acknowledges that Cook’s gravel mining operations are a mixed legacy. “They have provided many local people with work and have formed the basis of many of our roads and public works.” However, she feels it is important to “give something back to the Earth that has given us so much.”

The group will meet at 8:30 am at the Moving Arts Española parking lot and carpool from there to public property near the El Guique mine. Gold suggests participants should bring hats, sunscreen, and water, as well as drums, songs, poems, cornmeal, or flowers, if desired.

For more details on the event, including how to participate, contact Liz Gold at lizgold.nm@gmail.com or 505-351-1381.

See also: http://radicaljoyforhardtimes.org/