November 11, 2020
The village of Questa in northern New Mexico is an idyllic town surrounded by mountains and streams, with the deep gorge of the Rio Grande running nearby. Hard times hit this small community in recent years when their beloved 170-year-old church and their mining-based economy crumbled simultaneously.
The residents of Questa have rebuilt their church, and their new economy is based on restoration of Rio Grande cutthroat trout and the community’s cultural ties to the natural landscape. This is the story told in Querencia, a film about a resilient community resurrecting its economy. Rio Grande cutthroat trout restoration has taken many forms here in recent years: raising the water tables to sustain the cooler water temperatures needed for these fish and for climate resilience; reducing nonnative trout populations; habitat restoration work; and reintroducing the small communities around the Enchanted Circle area to Rio Grande cutthroat and their cultural significance.
This film shows the resilience of a community at an economic crossroads, where residents’ deep love of their home guides them through rebuilding their church, their economy, and their pride. You can find the film at tu.org. And if you’re in northern New Mexico, swing into Questa to fish for native Rio Grande cutthroat trout in spectacular country with delicious local food.