Timeline: Binational River Sisters Partnership

With support from El Laboratorio, a spontaneous partnership developed with participants from San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico and Denver, Colorado, focused on the Colorado River. Both cities are beneficiaries (or would-be beneficiaries) of Colorado River water. This collaboration came to be called the River Sisters Partnership, and resulted in leadership exchanges to both countries and riverfront park projects in both cities. Below is a timeline of partnership events.

Read about the effort in the Colorado Sun.

  • 2014: El Laboratorio’s Jorge Figueroa witnesses the historic Pulse Flow bringing back the Colorado River to the People of San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, and to the Sea. Watch it here, with Robert Redford.
  • Leadership exchange #1. Pulse Flow Panel at Denver’s Latino Eco-Festival, including representatives from Mexico.

2015: River Sisters name adopted.

In 2017 the Mayor of San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, and a delegation from that city came to Denver to meet with Denver’s mayor and other officials. They also toured the headwaters of the Colorado River.

2017: Leadership exchange #2: Mayor and delegation from San Luis Rio Colorado (SLRC) visit and present in person a proposal for cooperation to the mayor of Denver and the mayor & city council of Glenwood Springs. 

Leadership exchange #3.  Source-to-Sea Summit, Latino Eco-Festival, Denver Museum Nature & Science, including representatives from Mexico.

Leadership exchange #4. Greenways design charrette in SLRC, organized and facilitated by El Laboratorio, with representatives from Colorado. The Colorado River Greenway Sourcebook resulted. Read it in English of Spanish.

A planning session in the dry riverbed of the Colorado River in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora.
The newspaper headline (right) reads, “Cooperation to create a linear park.”
In 2019 El Laboratorio facilitated a design charrette in San Luis Rio Colorado to explore possibilities for a series of greenbelts around the city.
  • 2018: Leadership exchange #5. The River Sisters Partnership Memorandum of Understanding is signed simultaneously in Mexico and the US. Read it here.

    Leadership exchange #6. Greenways design charrette #2 in San Luis Rio Colorado.
  • 2019: Design charrette: A Greenbelt for San Luis Rio Colorado (Taller Participativo: Cinturón de Vías Verdes San Luis Río Colorado)

    CSU Upward Bound High School Sourcebook. Read it here.

    CSU Bridge Scholars: A guidebook for designing a Denver River Sisters Park. Read it here. A guide to greenway networks. Read it here.
  • 2020: Sun Valley’s future park & community selected as site for River Sisters-Denver Park by River Sisters Advisory Committee, community leaders, and municipal agencies. 
  • River Sisters Advisory Committee is renamed as River Sisters Circle. 

  • 2021: River Sisters Circle facilitates 13 meetings to develop its Living Policy Statement 
  • 2022-present: River Sisters Circle adopts Living Policy Statement. Read it here.
    Denver’s Draft West Area Plan adopts River Sisters Policy Statement. Read it here.