ZUNI, NM (Apr. 27, 2023) — Together with Running Medicine Zuni Pueblo and the Native Health Initiative, the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project has launched the ninth season of Running Medicine Zuni with 41 registered participants. The opening ceremony took place at Bear Trail on Monday, Apr. 10.

For eight weeks, participants are meeting at 6 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays to run and walk the trails in the Pueblo of Zuni. All ages and fitness abilities are welcome.

“Running Medicine is based on the understanding that movement is a powerful medicine for the mind, body and spirit,” said Tara Wolfe, ZYEP’s program manager. “Every time we meet, we stretch, breathe, relax and have fun.”

A partner program under the Native Health Initiative that launched in spring 2019, Running Medicine Zuni encourages a culture of wellness through a supportive, loving community. It includes two seasons each year, one in spring and one in fall.

“The spring season is an ideal time to incorporate outdoor fitness using the trails around Zuni, because the weather and scenery are perfect,” Wolfe said.

Seventy-four community members participated in the last Running Medicine Zuni spring season, with an average of 20 runners and walkers per session. Wolfe noted several 2022 highlights.

“Participants were enthusiastic about joining group activities following the Covid-19 pandemic, which increased their social and emotional wellness and connected them to the cultural and spiritual aspects of running and walking,” she said. “We also were able to use two new trails created by the ZYEP Build Environment team — the Bluebird Trail and the Mountain Bluebird Trail.”

“I always looked forward to the group, (because) it  motivated me to walk,” said 2022 participant Cherie Latone. “I like group gatherings and want more group challenges as well.”

“It makes you feel good after a good walk (or) run,” added fellow participant Priscilla Lasiloo. “I most certainly look forward to days when we all walk together. I don’t like walking alone. I like the start of the season, when a lot of people join. Running Medicine is the best program I got myself into.”

Also last year, Running Medicine Zuni joined ZYEP’s first-ever Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives 1-mile awareness walk as a group.

“A total of 158 people participated in our MMIR event last May,” said Tahlia Natachu, ZYEP’s executive director. “We’re encouraging this year’s Running Medicine Zuni participants to register for the 2nd annual MMIR event as well. It’s scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 4.”

For their regular sessions in the last four weeks of the 2023 spring season, Running Medicine Zuni participants will meet at various local trails around Zuni. The season will conclude with a celebration at Bear Trail.

To learn more about the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project and its programs, and for information about making donations, partnering with ZYEP, and volunteering, call (505) 782-8000 or visit zyep.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest news and events, follow the nonprofit youth organization on Facebook (/zuniyouthenrichmentproject), Instagram (@zuniyouthenrichmentproject), YouTube (/ZuniYouth), and TikTok (/zyep09)


Founded in 2009, the nonprofit Zuni Youth Enrichment Project is dedicated to promoting resilience among Zuni youth so they will grow into strong, healthy adults who are connected with Zuni traditions. ZYEP fulfills its mission by providing positive role models, enriching programs, and nurturing spaces that contribute to the healthy development of Zuni youth. ZYEP strives to provide every child with the encouragement and opportunities they need to reach their full potential.