María Gallegos, Executive Director, is a native Nueva Mexicana Meztiza Chicana born and raised in the beautiful Red Earth mountains of rural northern New Mexico. “There will always be others who will try to take our identity, water, land and language- it is our gardens, music, art, poetry, danza that carries our heritage- es importante conocer nuestras historias to be able to defend and preserve ourselves…”, a consejo from María’s grandpa Tomás which is at the core of her life and work. She has dedicated her life to social, economic and environmental justice. She previously served the public as an environmental scientist specializing in water quality and worked on statewide policies involving labor & economics, public health and water & agriculture. María is a member of Ballet Folklórico Fiesta Mexicana, Inc. dance company and teaches Mexican folk dance to students ranging in age from 5 years to adult. She is a blessed to be Mama to a wonderful person and gifted musician.