How did you get where you are today?

Much of this credit belongs to my parents, Telesfor and Teodora Garcia of Des Montes. My parents taught us the value of family, excellent work ethics, respect and community.  A portion of this credit belongs to my siblings, where they were a great positive impact on my upbringing. Credit also belongs to my husband and son, my nieces and nephews, and without reservation, my in-laws.   

Throughout the years, I have also met and worked with others, where I have learned valuable lessons of respect and consideration of others.  

How many years involved in your various endeavors? Of what are you most proud?

My accomplishments are teaching our children they have a purpose in our lives and in our community.

Taos Feeds Taos (TFT volunteer/Board Member, present) – 9 years. Two years have been in board member capacity. My software development expertise has allowed me to develop the Christmas Vouchers and Grocery Certificates based on the data gathered from TFT.  Providing my skills, has helped TFT avoid contractual services.

Beavers Inc 4-H Club, Arroyo Seco (Club Leader, present) 8 years, three years in club leadership role. Club projects have included Taos Feeds Taos; handcrafting and delivering Valentines to patients at the Taos Living Center; Adopt-A-Highway bi-yearly cleanup of State Road 150 to Taos Ski Valley; participating in Arroyo Seco 4th of July parade (kids have won for best pet float twice); building bird houses; learning to plant a garden from seed; along with learning to care for your animal.  

Holy Trinity Parish Mayodormos (present) – 9 years. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we observe county restrictions for attendance, sanitizing and disinfecting the church before and after mass. I’m proud keeping our community safe.

Taos Swim Club (Board Member, present) 9 years. Three years in board member capacity. Duties include assist in hiring experienced swim coaches; along with providing some form of development; and assisting in fundraising.

Local Grocers and Taos Farmers Market – Grocers 2 years, Farmers Market – new member, selling our local organic fruit. I want my parents and grandparents to know their hard work did not go in vain.

If possible, what advice would you give your teenage self?

We do NOT live in a perfect world. There will be obstacles and restrictions along the way. Remember, some of the restrictions encountered will be the restrictions created within oneself. 

How do you create a sane work-life balance? 

Since retirement, over five years ago, and no longer commuting from Arroyo Seco to Santa Fe, it is a lot easier. With that said, my concentration is for our kids and our community.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women right now?

I believe the biggest issue for women is Equal Pay.

Who are your real-life heroes?

My real-life heroes are my parents and grandparents. Being raised on a farm, we have learned family values and hard-work ethics. My grandparents started our farm and ranch over 90 years ago; they had the foresight to envision their grandchildren’s livelihood.  

My parents taught us to work and be self-sustaining. They taught us the importance of education and family traditions. They taught us the value of living an honest life.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as a family, we did not lack in much. Due to our family values instilled in us, we have all been able to share our talents and our produce grown.

What has the COVID-19 pandemic made you be more aware of than ever before?

Due to the pandemic restrictions and the many uncertainties that were brought upon us all, our kids and families encountered a very difficult and trying year.

The Taos Public School employees have been working long hours trying to provide and accommodate to all the needs of our youth. They have provided computer equipment and online instruction, along with daily meals. The staff has worked tirelessly trying to keep our children abreast in their studies. If you are not teaching, counseling, preparing lunches or delivering, then you are preparing the school infrastructure for the time when our children are able to return to school.  THANK YOU, TAOS PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES!

Our 4-H youth have also been affected by the pandemic. They were unsure of their indoor and livestock projects. After working long summer hours on projects, the kids were afraid the projects would go unnoticed, not be judged and/or sold at a livestock auction. The Taos County Extension employees and County Fair Board arranged for virtual judging and a virtual auction. THANK YOU, TAOS EXTENSION OFFICE AND COUNTY FAIR BOARD! Much appreciation also goes to Kit Carson Electric Cooperation and Captain Alejandro Rodríguez for the support you showed my son with his livestock projects.

The Taos Swim Club (TSC) also took a hit this past year. Due to state restrictions, the Taos Youth and Family Center has been closed. Our kids are hopeful that as our county has moved to the yellow level of the pandemic, the town of Taos will reopen the swimming pool and allow them to get back to swimming.

In addition, the annual tradition of the Taos Feeds Taosorganization is to provide families in need with food boxes for the Christmas season. Once again, due to restrictions, TFT provided families with gift certificates to Super Save Discount Foods for food purchases.  I am grateful TFT found a new method to support families in need.

It has been a difficult year, but we are very fortunate to live in Taos. We are blessed that we do not reside within a big city.

What is the main message you want Taoseños to hear coming out of this pandemic year?

Our children need us more than ever.  Please help support our youth.

Watch Gloria Garcia-Salazar's 2021 Taoseña Awards acceptance speech


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