New Mexico Launches Distinctive Acequia License Plate, Showcasing State’s Rich Cultural Heritage


The winner of the design contest for the 2024 specialty license plate in New Mexico has been announced by the Acequia Commission. Along with the new look, the commission chose a new tagline for the plates: “Acequias Sangre Viva,” which means “Acequias Blood of Life.”

Artist Raymond Archuleta from the area made the winning plate. The commission says Archuleta’s design “captures the essence of this time-honored tradition, which has been the lifeblood of New Mexico’s farming communities for hundreds of years.”

Commissioner Mary Mascareñas came up with the chosen tagline. According to the acequia commission, the phrase “represents the dedication, resilience, and vibrant spirit of the communities that depend on these acequias for their livelihoods.”

The unique plate will go on sale on January 1, 2024. Each plate sold will go to the Acequia and Community Ditch Fund, which helps pay for studies, research, and other services that are needed to protect and preserve the state’s water.

The new license plate will be the first specialty plate in New Mexico to show the background of acequias and how they are still being protected. The plate was passed by the legislature in 2023 after Kristina Ortez and Ambrose Castellano pushed for it.

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