Over the last 10+ years, Cuba, New Mexico has been the beta site for the UNM Prevention Research Center’s VIVA (Village Interventions and Venues for Action) Connects program. We are celebrating this partnership, the newly improved St. Francis of Assisi Park Trail, the new Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Cuba Re-route, and National Public Lands Day in the Cuba community on Friday, September 27th, and Saturday, September 28th.

On Friday, September 27th at the Eichwald Center there will be games, local food vendors with healthy options to purchase, health-based activities, and other UNM/Cuba community partners booths with freebies & giveaways from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Starting at 4:00, there will be honored guests including Stephanie Garcia Richard, the New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands; Erin Uloth, Acting Deputy Forest Supervisor of the Santa Fe National Forest; Tim Spisak or Steven Wells, Director of Bureau of Land Management New Mexico or Associate Director for BLM New Mexico; Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition; Dr. Sally Davis, Director of The University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center; and David Nezzie, Field Representative for Senator Martin Heinrich.

At 5:00 PM, a ribbon-cutting by Mayor pro tem, Gilbert Dominguez and the Village Council will officially unveil the beautiful enhancements of the St. Francis of Assisi Park Trail where a stroll/walk/run will commence by everyone in the community.

Live music by Holy Water and Whiskey will enliven the evening and bring the celebration to an end with announcements of door prize winners and details on Saturday’s upcoming festivities.
Saturday, September 28th, a community guided hike on the new Cuba reroute of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail will begin at 10:00 a.m. Meeting area and directions to trailhead are below. If you would like to attend the hike, please let us know by contacting Jen Suan at JeSuan@salud.unm.edu or (505)272-3940. Don’t forget to pack a lunch and bring water!

Walk and celebrate our new and improved trails!
Check back for more details, and be sure to follow the University of New Mexico’s Prevention Research Center Facebook page for these and other updates on rural health throughout New Mexico!

Directions to the Las Vacas/San Gregorio Lake Trailhead
(Meeting area for the hike on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Re-route)

• To reach the the Las Vacas/San Gregorio Lake Trailhead, drive a little over 10 miles east on NM Highway 126 from the Cuba Visitor Center on NM Highway 126.

• Turn left onto graveled Forest Road 70 at the San Gregorio sign and proceed approximately 3 miles to

• Trailhead parking on your right. There are toilets, trash cans, an informational kiosk and parking spaces for 20 or so vehicles. If all spaces are taken, you can park along Forest Road 70. The lot is suitable for RVs and trailers.

• Very nice camping is available at the Clear Creek Campground on NM Highway 126, approximately ½ mile past the Forest Road 70 junction.

• Trailhead GPS coordinates are: 36.027161, -106.846852