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As part of being a participant in the Footprints of the Ancestors project, Hopi youth are required to get involved with service-learning projects at home in the Hopi villages. The goal is to help youth take responsibility and give back to their communities. The following describes the activities in which the Hopi youth, teachers, and elders participated.


September 20, 2008 : Paatuwaqatsi Race

The Hopi youth wanted to help with this very important race, which is a community involvement and reinforces Hopi cultural values and the importance of water. This is an annual race which also keeps the running trails alive, which are seen as the veins of the village.

The Paatuwaqatsi Run is a special public event open to anyone who is interested in running for the cause of water and life. The run takes place in the heart of Hopi country and will pass through the ancient village of Walpi. The Paatuwaqatsi Run was founded by the well-known and accomplished Hopi runner, Bucky Preston, who has literally run thousands of miles in the quest to preserve and protect his people's water.

The Ultra Run and Ultra Run 3-Person and 6-Person Relays covers various types of high desrt terrain, from open sand, hard rock surfaces, high mesa tops and riparian habitat. The Ultra Run is for conditioned runners who are used to covering distances 20 miles or more. This special run takes place on high desert terrain in summer heat well above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Each runner must be prepared for extreme outdoor running conditions that demand excellent physical shape and endurance. There will be check points for all runs including the Ultra Run, Ultra Run Relay's and the 4 mile run. If you have any questions, email

The Footprints of the Ancestors youth helped to prepare the trails for this race by pulling weeds and moving rocks. On the day of the race, youth helped direct traffic, hand out water, guide runners to stay on the correct trails, and help out as needed.



May 19, 2007 : Planting at Hopi

Spending a day at Hopi and planting for a new harvest is a very important role for all Hopi. Corn is very significant to the Hopi culture and society, planting has been a way of life and survival. Even more, the ceremonies reflect the phases of the Hopi planting cycle. By participating in planting, the youth provide food for their own families and for other community members. The photos included here were taken at Leigh Kuwanwisiwma's cornfield near Kykotsmovi, AZ where the students helped do some planting.





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