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 as they 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 while helping 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, 17, of 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 across the region's mesas and canyons.
 
More permanent settlements popped up several centuries ago, and 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. And prehistoric warehouses made up of hundreds of rooms, where food was stashed.
 
Tyuonyi Pueblo is one such place, where the all-tribal HOPE team worked.
 
The team 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, 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 where, in today's society, language is being lost and we're at a crossroads."
 
The crew was recruited by the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, which 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/tween78/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 (37)
  • owenh-ver
    9/18/2015 - 01:30 p.m.

    this is cool and i hope that they fix the problem

  • breckynm-her
    9/19/2015 - 11:29 a.m.

    That is so nice of the teens to do that

  • ameyr-her
    9/19/2015 - 09:46 p.m.

    I thought this story was inspiring

  • kierstenw-her
    9/20/2015 - 04:27 p.m.

    That's really awesome that they are helping fix the wall :)

  • mattv-fel
    9/28/2015 - 02:22 p.m.

    The teens are motivated to do this work because they would like to uncover what their ancestors built and how they lived. One teen even said, "I think it's important because we need to know where we came from,".

  • kyleighp-fel
    9/28/2015 - 02:27 p.m.

    The teens are motivated to do this work because its preserving an important piece of history of their people.

  • hannaha-fel
    9/28/2015 - 02:28 p.m.

    Teens are motivated to do this work because they want to learn more about where they came from and want to help out.

  • garretta-fel
    9/28/2015 - 02:28 p.m.

    Teens are motivated to do this work because
    the teens are wanting to learn more about there ancestors and where they came from,and they want to help preserve these historic national monuments.

  • elizabetht-fel
    9/28/2015 - 02:28 p.m.

    Teens are motivated to do this work because they want to preserve things like this and they wanted to know where they came from.

  • mimir-fel
    9/28/2015 - 02:28 p.m.

    The teens are motivated to do the work because it has to do with their past so essentially being sentimental to them.

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