History, Mission and Vision
In 1988, a small group of feisty friends came together to protect the Wild & Scenic Rio Grande, which was under threat of a proposed mine tailings facility to be built in the Guadalupe Mountains, immediately adjacent to the river. The group aptly named themselves, “Amigos Bravos,” meaning fierce (or brave) friends. That is how our name originated and how our mission with environmental justice at its heart was born.
Amigos Bravos’ Mission is to: Protect and Restore the Waters of New Mexico.
Amigos Bravos is a statewide water conservation organization guided by social justice principles and dedicated to preserving and restoring the ecological and cultural integrity of New Mexico’s water and the communities that depend on it. While rooted in science and the law, our work is inspired by the values and traditional knowledge of New Mexico’s diverse Hispanic and Native American land-based populations, with whom we collaborate.
Amigos Bravos’ programs and activities are developed through a collaborative process with our Board of Directors, Staff, and partnerships with like-minded environmentally-focused public and private organizations. A strategic planning process, updated every 5 years, assures that Amigos Bravos remains close to its diverse constituency of land-based local communities, Native American tribes, and urban enviros while linking those insights with expertise from a variety of professionals working on natural resources, legislative policy, science, health, and education, as well as with representatives from regional and national conservation organizations.
Since our first victory in 1990, which saved the Guadalupe Mountains from all future mining activities, Amigos Bravos has not faltered in our commitment to protect New Mexico’s precious waters and the communities that depend on them. Based in Taos, with a statewide mission, Amigos Bravos has grown into a well-respected and nationally recognized river and water protection organization.
Our areas of expertise and accomplishment include: broad-based advocacy campaigns; community organizing; the creation of effective socio-economically and culturally diverse coalitions; successful legal, regulatory, and legislative campaigns at the local, state, and federal level; community water quality monitoring programs; and, ecosystem restoration initiatives.
Vision: Amigos Bravos envisions rivers so clear and clean we can bend to our knees, cup our hands, and drink directly from those waters without fear.
This is the vision that was handed to us by Pueblo Indian and native Hispanic Elders at our first strategic planning session not long after our inception as an organization. That vision, which was a reality in northern New Mexico only one lifetime ago, requires the wisdom, knowledge, and participation of all New Mexicans in the effort to address social and political pressures poisoning our waters.