When La Madre Tierra set off to explore New Mexico last summer, they kept hearing about Ángel Peña as the go-to person to talk about the then newly created Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks National Monument in Las Cruces. A cultural organizer with the New Mexico Wilderness Society, Ángel is definitely not who comes to mind when you think environmental activist. Trained as an archeologist and an accomplished amateur cowboy, Peña’s broad involvement in Las Cruces’ civil society has proven key when engaging a much needed diverse base of support for the new national monuments.
While we could certainly joke that he makes for a good Indiana Jones stand-in (if Indy had piercings and killer tattoos) here is his outstanding story of achievement. We hoped it will inspire more Latinos from all walks of life to take a leadership role in conservation.