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Mexican Native Turned Outdoors Instructor to Tell of Journey to His Roots
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Learn of a Hailey man’s journey to get back to his Mexican roots during Sunday’s presentation at The Liberty Theatre in Hailey.
   
Saturday, June 1, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Rick Ballesteros works as program director at Rota-Rippers at Rotarun Ski area and in the outdoor program at Idaho Base Camp.

But on Sunday, June 2, he will tell of a 2,000-mile cycling journey he and some of his 10 siblings took along the Mexican border from the Gulf of Mexico in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the West. The tripi was filmed the trip and he hopes to present excerpts from it that evening.

The free program, titled “We Belong,” starts at 6 p.m. and includes raffle prizes. Food and drink will be available and any donations will go towards finishing the “We Belong” film.

Born in Mexico, Ballesteros came to the United States with his parents when he was 2. He was raised by a Mormon family in Utah after his parents were sent to prison for trafficking methamphetamine.

He began to get in touch with his Mexican roots when the church sent him on a mission to the Chicano area of East Los Angeles and became even more interested after he visited with his mother who told him that his grandmother had been a Yaqui shaman.

Ballesteros retraced his steps to the town where he was born and was able to engage in such indigenous practices as a death ceremony.

“His story is incredible,” said Ballesteros’ friend Herbert Romero.

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