Teens get "Hands-On Preservation Experience", also known as HOPE
Teens get "Hands-On Preservation Experience", also known as HOPE Vidal Gonzales, center, of Santa Clara Pueblo applies mortar while reconstructing one of the walls at Tyuonyi Pueblo at Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, N.M. Gonzales is one of several Native American youth from surrounding pueblos who are participating in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's HOPE project, which aims to train a new generation of preservationists. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
Teens get "Hands-On Preservation Experience", also known as HOPE
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With the sun blazing overhead, the crew of Native American youth tries to work quickly. Their hands are covered with dry, cracked mud. They work to repair the stone walls that make up one of the more prominent cultural sites at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico.
 
The teens spent most of the summer helping with a massive preservation project. It is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's HOPE initiative, or Hands-On Preservation Experience.
 
The trust teamed up with the National Park Service and the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. The goal: To train more young people in preservation skills. At the same time, it helps care for historical sites on public land. From New Mexico and Arizona to Virginia and Vermont, crews worked on some 30 projects this summer.
 
At Bandelier, the work has taken on a greater significance. That is because the teens are restoring structures that were built by their ancestors centuries ago.
 
"I think it's important because we need to know where we came from," said Vidal Gonzales. He is 17 and lives in Santa Clara Pueblo.
 
Tucked into northern New Mexico's ancient canyons, Bandelier has a long human history. It stretches back more than 11,000 years. Back then, nomadic hunters and gatherers tracked wildlife. The region includes mesas and canyons.
 
More permanent settlements popped up several centuries ago. The largest concentration was in Frijoles Canyon. All that's left now are the stone and mortar outlines of what were once grand multi-story structures. They were built into the walls of the canyon and along Frijoles Creek.
 
There are underground kivas where puebloan ancestors gathered for meetings and ceremonies. There are also prehistoric warehouses made up of hundreds of rooms. That's where food was stashed.
 
Tyuonyi Pueblo is one such place. It is where the all-tribal HOPE team worked.
 
They checked the capstones of each wall. If loose, they were removed, the mortar was replaced and the stones were reset. Measurements were taken and the work was documented.
 
The site was first excavated by Edgar Lee Hewett in the early 1900s. In 1916, Bandelier was established as a national monument.
 
Without the maintenance, Bandelier preservation specialist Jonathan Stark said the walls would crumble. They would come down within a decade or two.
 
"The work that we're doing is important to a variety of people," Stark said. "Obviously, the visitors love coming out here and seeing this and learning the history of a place such as this. To the descendants, this is a footprint of their ancestors. (It's) something that proves they were here. It gives perspective to their younger generations."
 
Myron Gonzales is a San Ildefonso Pueblo member who led the crew. He said the teens learned skills they can use to round out efforts in their own communities for preserving cultural sites, language and other traditions.
 
"The biggest factor in developing what they're doing now is being able to provide them with a means of identification," he said. "We come from pueblo communities. In today's society, language is being lost and we're at a crossroads."
 
The crew was recruited by the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. The organization provides stipends and scholarships. It plans to recruit more tribal youth to work on possible future preservation projects with Acoma Pueblo and other Native communities in New Mexico.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/teens-get-hands-preservation-experience-also-known-hope/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are teens motivated to do this work?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (46)
  • bena333904-
    9/28/2015 - 09:52 a.m.

    Teens are motivated to do this work because it is important to them to see where they came from. Teens are restoring these structures that were built by their ancestors centuries ago.

  • haleeni-Sch
    9/29/2015 - 10:13 a.m.

    Preservation means to repair something close or back to its original condition. They were doing this so they always have a piece of history. If you didn't. preserve it it would rot and collapse.

  • jaxsonbe-Sch
    9/29/2015 - 10:17 a.m.

    I think preservation means to keep something and take care of it. Many people don't care about old landmarks. It is good preserve things that are old and cool. You can find cool artifacts also.

  • sethst-Sch
    9/29/2015 - 10:18 a.m.

    to keep safe from harm or injury protect or spare.

  • emilypl-Sch
    9/29/2015 - 10:18 a.m.

    Preservation means to save of preserve something form our ancestors. Some things that we might preserve are: swamps, farm land, wetlands, mountains, and lakes.

  • whitneyho-Sch
    9/29/2015 - 10:19 a.m.

    In the article preservation meant preserving the past and building it stronger for the future. If more people started preserving national landmarks near them, the world would be a better place.

  • sethst-Sch
    9/29/2015 - 10:19 a.m.

    to keep safe from harm or injury protect or spare. The wildlife because we need it to survive

  • bioncawe-Sch
    9/29/2015 - 10:21 a.m.

    This article states that preservation means preserving in the past and and re-building the building that has fallen in New Mexico.

  • ethanar-Sch
    9/29/2015 - 10:21 a.m.

    Because they want stuff like this to stay and they know that the only way that is going to happen is if they do work and I think the community is very happy that they're taking time out of their day and doing this. Preservation- It means to hold something that some people want to get rid of.

  • mallariepe-Sch
    9/29/2015 - 10:22 a.m.

    I think that is very cool. It helps the nation know a little bit about history in the years to come. The future generations will be able to see what our ancestors lived and saw.

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