Rosalia Adela Salazar

Age: 19

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Why do you think the Colorado River is important?
My father is originally from Mexico while my mother was born in Honduras. For my mother to attain water, she had to walk barefoot for miles on end. My father’s family owned a large container filled with water that they would have to administer and stretch out for months on end. I grew up with having water at my fingertips 24/7 and never questioned where it came from. Our southwestern states have come up with some innovative ways to save and conserve water, but we still have a long way to go. The lifeline of the southwest is the Colorado River. And what used to be a generous water source for all of us all will soon be gone. I was fortunate enough to see the river first hand. My future children on the other hand, might not be so lucky.

What do you think we need to do to protect the Colorado River for future generations?
Educate to prevent. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We need to educate our youth and stress to our policy makers that this river is in fact one of the greatest gifts that mother nature has given us. It is the lifeline of our homes throughout the southwestern spectrum and small solutions do indeed contribute to the bigger picture. We need to educate our Latino youth and Native American youth about the history that the river holds and tell them about how it came to be.

What has been your favorite part about being a NR Youth Leader?
There have been many wonderful moments I’ve shared with this fantastic organization. But by far, my favorite moment was actually going on the river and rafting for six days. It was during our first cohort when I really understood the true meaning of privilege and friendship. I met many remarkable individuals and learned so much more than what a textbook could’ve ever taught me. I am eternally grateful for these last few years of involvement and advocacy and cannot wait to see what’s next!