ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Native American students from the University of New Mexico recently represented their cultures at a youth leadership conference in Mexico hosted by the U.S. Embassy.
Melodie Cruz, a member of the Ohkay Owingeh pueblo, who is pursuing a degree in nursing and public health, and Kyon Benally, an engineering major from the Navajo community in Iyanbito, traveled to Mexico City – their first time out of the United States, for the Foro Nacional de la Juventud Indígena (Indigenous Youth Regional Forum).
The conference also featured some 40 young leaders from communities around Mexico and representatives from Oklahoma and Texas. Topics of discussion included maintaining and preserving culture and language and the challenges of pursuing education and creating healthy communities. Students also shared aspects of their specific heritages and traditions.