This was the best Red Ribbon Week yet for our communities, celebrated in late October. Red Ribbon Week celebrates how good it is to live drug-free, and is a time to honor those who have lost their lives to drugs. Red Ribbon Week was a lot of fun but also a time to learn, reflect, honor, and show support for one another. Red Ribbon Week is the longest-running alcohol, tobacco, drug, and violence prevention awareness campaign in the United States, founded in 1985.
Our partners this year were the Freedom Center Church (a.k.a. Harvest Questa), Living Word Ministries, the Village of Questa, and the Questa Schools, all of whom contributed to a truly memorable Red Ribbon Week.
We kicked the week off at Questa Jr./Sr. High School with anti-bullying and drug prevention speaker Fabian Ramirez, from Washington, DC, on Monday, October 25. He used his knack for storytelling, intertwining his stories with facts and jokes, which made his presentation as enjoyable as it was informative. He kept the students listening, learning and laughing throughout his entire talk.
On Wednesday, October 27, a Candlelight Vigil was held. Community members spoke about the pain they endured with their families because of losing a loved one and the hardship of loving someone who struggles with addiction. Others spoke out about positive changes they are experiencing in recovery. Pastors Peter and Gayle Martinez from Living Word Ministries in Questa shared that they host a Grief Share group on Wednesdays at 6 pm and also a Christian Recovery Program on Fridays at 6 pm. Both groups are open to the community.
On Thursday, October 28, the National Guard Counterdrug Task Force landed a helicopter in the Questa Elementary School parking lot, and brought a climbing wall and an inflatable obstacle course as well. Students enjoyed these, and were invited to go inside the helicopter, too.
On Friday, October 29, a “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event was organized by the Village of Questa. It was great to see how many members of the community showed up to decorate their trunks and give out candy. It was also fun to see all the families in their costumes to trick-or-treat. Vida Del Norte took the opportunity to spread the prevention message with pictures on their trunk that read, “Say Boo to Drugs,” and “Don’t Let Drugs Turn You into a Zombie.” During the event, Vida volunteers William and Nancy Borges asked participants to sign cards thanking our county law enforcement officers for all they do to prevent substance misuse in our communities.
A Halloween Teen Night was the culmination of the day, which was very well attended.
Red Ribbon Week came to a close on Sunday, October 31, the day of Harvest Fest, hosted by Freedom Center Church and Living Word Ministries. There were games, another trunk-or-treat event, pumpkin decorating, a bouncy house, and other fun alcohol- and drug-free activities for the community.
Thank you to everyone who helped to organize activities for Red Ribbon Week and thank you to all of the students, families, and other community members who participated. Thank you to everyone who shares how good drug-free can be.
Short excerpts of video from Fabian Ramirez’s presentation and photos and videos of other Red Ribbon Week activities can be seen at: www.vidadelnorte.com/red-ribbon-week-2021.
If you would like more information about Vida Del Norte Coalition, please visit us at Vidadelnorte.com, E-mail Maria.firstname.lastname@example.org; (575) 779-2260; www.facebook.com/vidadelnortecoalition Have a warm and wonderful holiday season!