La Plaza Telecommunity
5th Annual Computer Essay Contest
In keeping with it's mission of providing education and access to computer and Internet technology, La Plaza Telecommunity will be giving away computers to winners in this year's computer essay contest. The contest is open to all Taos County Youth. Relatives of any La Plaza staff and/or board members are not eligible. There will be three categories based on grade level. The categories are 6th to 8th grade, 9th to 10th and 11th to 12th grade. The contest is open to all young people in public, private or home schools.

This year's essay theme is "Water, Agua, Pba - Our Most Precious Resource" Taos youth are asked to write an essay on the following.

Water, Agua, Pba - Our Most Precious Resource

Land and water are interwoven with our traditional communities by providing for our livelihood and by maintaining generational ties to land, water, ancestral practices, community and family.

Our communities have practiced a unique culture based on small-scale ranching, forestry and irrigated agriculture for thousands of years. Taos and Picuris Pueblo Indians were practicing irrigation farming when the Spanish-Mexican explorers and colonists first came to our region. The settlers brought with them irrigation experience developed in Spain during the Moorish period of the Middle Ages. They combined their customs and knowledge with those of the pueblos, and from that mixture resulted the institution of the acequia or ditch.

Water is New Mexico's most precious commodity. Unfortunately as our population grows, so does the demand for water. Every year, traditional communities in Northern New Mexico feel the pressure from developers, environmental groups, industry, recreational interests, and municipalities. People use water and they will get it from where ever they can.

Write an essay discussing the following:
Why is water important to the survival of our communities and what can we do to ensure water availability to our communities?

You should discuss some of the following in your essay.

  • History of water use in New Mexico.
  • What are the most important uses of water in your community?
  • How would you describe the water situation in your community now?
  • What are the environmental impacts of drought in relation to community?
  • Do we have to do anything to protect our water or will Mother Nature take care of it?
  • What effect will drought have on water rights and uses?
  • What will be the social and economic pressures that extended water shortage will bring?
  • What can be done in your community to conserve water?
  • Who should be involved in the decision-making regarding water uses and rights?
Essays should be no more than 1000-1500 words. Entries do not have to be typed as long as the essay is legible. Attach the entry form with your essay. All entries must be submitted no later than 5 PM December 5, 2001. Essays will be judged by a panel of Taos County educators and community representatives. Winners will be announced December 19, 2002. For more information contact Cathy, 758-1836,

Submit entry form and essay to:
Computer Essay Contest 2002
La Plaza Telecommunity
224 Cruz Alta Rd, Suite F
Taos, NM  87571
Click here for printable form.