March 18, 1988
The residents of the town of Milagro, New Mexico are mostly farmers. They depend upon the soil for their livelihood, so they are angry and dismayed when they discover that local politicians are trying to sell some of their land. Part of the deal involves limiting water rights to the town’s farmers, who suddenly find themselves faced with prohibitions against the use of irrigation systems they need. Joe Mondragon is so fed up that he kicks over a sign that covers a valve to an irrigation ditch. When the water gushes out, he doesn’t try to stop it. Instead, he plants beans in his father’s field and allows the field to become a symbol of the farmers’ protest.