Children's hands raised against a wall with graffiti

This time on The Children’s Hour we learn about the concept of querencia: the feeling of “home” in a place, and within our communities. Using poetry, imagery, history, music and sharing, we explore the elements of home with our special guest from the Center for Social Sustainable Systems, Alicia Chavez.

When you feel like you are “home” can you describe what that feeling embodies? We learn about this feeling, which is more than a feeling, really. In Spanish, the concept of querencia is much more than just “home.”  Querencia is a sense of peace, belonging, purpose, resilience, and community. 

Alicia Chavez from the Center for Social Sustainable Systems walks us through some of the curriculum the organization has developed for schools to teach the concept of querencia in their classrooms, called Ciclos de Tierra (Cycles of the Earth).

One of the first exercises is for our Kids Crew to examine art that for some, reminds them of their hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The kids crew analyzed this artwork to get them thinking about their querencia.

Image by Adelina Cruz, Text by Alicia Chavez

Systems to keep connecting: acequias

In New Mexico and other desert agricultural communities, we rely upon a system of irrigation canals to grow our food. For centuries, the acequia system has brought the waters of the Rio Grande to farms across our state. The acequia system relies upon a community to work together to predict the water flow, maintain the ditches, and irrigate the lands. This is querencia in action, and it happens everywhere in the world reliant upon ditch irrigation to keep the fields fertile and producing crops.


Where is your querencia?

We use poetry to help us describe our querencias, and we kick it off with our own educator at The Children’s Hour, Lorraine Archibald, whose querencia sounds like cumbia music. The Kids Crew describe how it feels to be home, and what makes our home in the high desert mountains so special.  Everyone has something they can describe about the place where they live, that only a person very familiar with the land can know. Here in Albuquerque, we delight in our pink sunsets glowing on the Sandia Mountains, and we treasure our precious waters in the Rio Grande.

Children's hands raised against a wall with graffiti

Join us as we discover what makes a place truly home, and practice the exercises with our Kids Crew to find your own querencia in a lesson from Alicia Chavez. 

This episode was written and produced by Executive Producer, Katie Stone, with help from Senior Producer Christina Stella, producer Eli Henley, and our Educational Consultant Lorraine Archibald.

Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, New Mexico hosts our recording sessions, and Chad Scheer is our recording engineer.

©2024 The Children’s Hour Inc.

Playlist: Querencia - A Place We Call Home

Home on the TownHopalong AndrewHowdy Do! Songs of the Urban Cowpoke
Home (feat. 123 Andres)SaulPaulAll Star Anthems
Always HomeDuke OtherwiseKith & Kin
Singing All the Way HomeLiz BuchananSinging All the Way Home
My Happy PlaceKetsasingle
Long Way From HomeThe Happy RacersLong Way From Home - Single
TanguedoBlue Dot SessionsUnion Hall
Cumbia de los PajaritosLos MirlosCumbias Chichadelicas: Peruvian Psychedelic Chicha
Place I Call HomeNative RootsMost High
Slow Slow SkyBlue Dot SessionsFeathers - EP
ResilientRising AppalachiaLeylines
Peas CorpsPodington BearJoyful
Don't GoPodington BearCarefree
Give Me a Home Among the Gum TreesJennie SimpsonHome Away from Home
Glad You're HereJustin RobertsWild Life
To My PeopleNimoEmpty Hands

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