RÍO GRANDE, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico

RioGrandemap GatheringRepositoryRioGrandea

Río Grande map.

Río Grande Repository, Source to Sea. 1999.


Río Grande Repository, Source to Sea contents.

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Río Grande Repository, Source to Sea contents.

Río Grande Repository, Source to Sea (detail).

A Gathering of Waters: The Río Grande, Source to Sea took five years to complete along the entire 1,875-mile length of the rio, which begins in the San Juan Mountains of Southern Colorado, flows through New Mexico, becomes the border between Texas and Mexico, and then enters the Gulf of Mexico at Boca Chica.


Hundreds of participants put a small amount of river water into a River Vessel Canteen, wrote in a Logbook, and passed these downstream to another person. Connections were made that have been lasting, and groups are working together that never would have met otherwise. In order to participate in this project, you had to physically be at the river and interact with someone else downstream, thereby forming a kind of human river that brings awareness to the plight of this stream that is always asked to give more than it has. In the video documentary about this project, my son, Derek, stands in the middle of the Río and says; “Ask not what this river can do for you, but what you can do for this river.”

gettingriverclaytomakeparticipantgiftsofcanteens addingwatertocanteenduringRioGathering

Collecting clay to make gift canteens for participants.

Rafting guide adding water to Canteen.

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Indian School track team running with Canteen.

Park ranger writing in Logbook.


The Canteen reaches the end of the Río Grande at the Gulf of Mexico.

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see also: Río Grande Gathering of Waters video

see also: Río Grande Hydrolibros projects

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