"Leche y Miel": Short Film Set in Yuma County Explores Over-Allocation of the Colorado River

Dec 8, 2017

Over-use of the Colorado River has long concerned environmentalists, but a short film has set out to explore the human impacts of over-allocation.  KAWC’s Maya Springhawk Robnett attended a viewing in San Luis, Arizona…

The Yuma area relies on the Colorado River to produce 90% of the country’s winter leafy vegetables.  American Rivers, which named the Colorado the country’s most endangered river of 2017, and the Hispanic Access Foundation set out to explore how over-allocation could impact the local Latino community. 

The resulting short film Leche y Miel, or Milk and Honey, has since been viewed across the country, at film festivals, and even in private viewings by members of the United States Congress.  Justin Clifton is the director of the short documentary.

“If you live in Pennsylvania or you live in Alabama,”  Clifton said, “it’s very easy to say, ‘Well, I don’t care.’  And I really wanted to make that human connection to say that every person in this country is actually connected to the Colorado River.”

"...every person in this country is connected to the Colorado River."

The film’s focus on the River is seen through the eyes of a farmworker, a church, and 75-year-old Louie Gradias who has lived in the area all his life.  Gradias calls the Colorado River a “creek” compared to what it once was.

“When I was a kid, it used to hum—you could hear it roar! I mean, you stood at the river’s edge, across, looked West; it looked like an ocean.  And now there’s nothing,” he said.  

Leche y Miel can be viewed in its entirety below.

Milk & Honey (Leche y Miel) from American Rivers on Vimeo.