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 Welcome to Step Into Cuba!

What is Step into Cuba?

Step into Cuba is a program to promote healthy physical activity through development of sidewalks, paths, trails, social support, and opportunities for lifestyle change. It is based in Cuba, New Mexico. It is guided by a partnership of organizations and individuals – the Step Into Cuba Alliance – and coordinated by the Nacimiento Community Foundation. Our future vision is to create  a “greener,” healthier, and more pedestrian, community with opportunities for extraordinary walking and hiking on surrounding scenic Federal lands.  

What's Happening?

Step Into Cuba has several walking groups you can join, as well as walking champions who can help you design your own exercise program. You can also choose to participate in volunteer activities - such as landscaping, tree watering, and trail maintenance – to get outdoors, have fun, learn new skills and help the community. We are also developing youth recreation and training programs.

Our Step Into Cuba Alliance or committees meet monthly and welcome guests with ideas and information. We sponsor community events and work closely with the Village of Cuba, Sandoval County, New Mexico Department of Transportation, Federal Agencies, and Continental Divide Trail Alliance on planning future trails including a new segment of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

Step Into Cuba Video |  HSC UNM  |  October 26, 2009

(Above) Seniors participant during an on going walking
group in Cuba, New Mexico.


ABOVE YOUTUBE: March 22, 2012 -- New Mexico Prevention Research Center (PRC ) Director Sally Davis, PhD, joined PRC partner Richard Kozoll, MD, MPH, on Thursday, March 22, as the White House honors Dr. Kozoll for his work promoting physical activity in the rural community of Cuba, New Mexico (Step Into Cuba)

2011 -- CONGRESSMAN BEN RAY LUJAN (middle) VISITS CUBA and surveys the new improvements on
the Fisher Trail.

Check out the new Photo Gallery

People of all ages working on Fisher Community Trail

Building the Fisher Trail and new improvements to St Francis Park - August 2011 -- March 2012. The trail construction pictures include the National Park Service workshop, summer youth provided by Robert Wood Johnson and AMIKids volunteers.

Seen Along the Trail -- This is a new feature which captures the beautiful 'flora and fauna' seen around the many trails of Cuba, New Mexico. If you are hiking and see something of interest on the trails please attach your photo, include your name, time and date when the photo was taken and email it to:


Current & Upcoming Events, Activities and Announcements:

Step Into Cuba/Nacimiento Community Foundation Sponsored 5k/10k as part of the 4th Annual Deadman Peaks Ultramarathon The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail spans 3,100 miles between Mexico and Canada. On October 19, 2013 Cuba community members gathered near mile marker 4 on NM 197 south of Cuba Mesa to experience Cuba’s south Continental Divide National Scenic Trail as part of the 4th annual Deadman Peaks ultra-marathon. A 5k/10k community run walk event that was sponsored by Step into Cuba, Nacimiento Community Foundation, Village of Cuba Lodger’s Tax and Deadman Peaks ultra-marathon. The addition of the 5k/10k has expanded the annual event to include an event for everyone.

The event featured participants of all ages trying both the 5k and 10k routes. Participants who chose to walk were offered guided tours of the trail and the 10k participants were offered an extended tour which offered amazing views from a saddle in Mesa Portales on a beautiful sunny day. Participant Christine Montoya said “I really enjoyed the walk. This was my first time and the scenery was just wonderful. I will more than likely participate every year now that I know how fun it is. Hopefully, I’ll get more people to come with me next year. Great organization.”

First place finisher for the 5k event was Kyle Lucero from Cuba, NM. The marathon event winner was Dan Vega from Colorado Springs, CO and the 50 mile event winner was Jacob Lawrence from St. Paul, MN.

A special thank you! to Lorraine Saxton, Dick and Pita McDonald, Peggy McCracken, Alejandro Ortega, Dr. Dick Kozoll, Jeanette Linville and all the rest of the volunteers who helped make the event a success.

2013 Update - Step Into Cuba - New videos released! Based in scenic Cuba, New Mexico, Step Into Cuba is a program to promote physical activity through development of sidewalks, paths, trails, social support, and opportunities for lifestyle change.

2012 - CDC News -- More People Walk
to Better Health.
More than 145 million adults now include walking as part of a physically active lifestyle. More than 6 in 10 people walk for transportation or for fun, relaxation, or exercise, or for activities such as walking the dog. The percentage of people who report walking at least once for 10 minutes or more in the previous week rose from 56% (2005) to 62% (2010). Read more.

Nov. 17, 2012 at 10:30 am
Step into Cuba Community Walk!
All ages and abilities are encouraged to participate.
Please park in the unfenced parking areas at the middle school. Stroller are not advised. No dogs, please.

Wear comfortable shoes and socks. Dress in layers, bring a hat and sunscreen. Bring water and snacks.
Have fun with your family and friends.

2012 Step Into Cuba Walking and Hiking Guide for places near Cuba, New Mexico. (PDF 15 MG)

2012 Cuba Schools Trail Map (PDF 180 KB)

2012 Walking Safely - A Guide for Kids, Parents and the Cuba Schools. (PDF 3.1 MG)

Nov. 2012 - Nikolis Gualco accepted the position of Outreach Coordinator with the Rio Puerco Alliance, whose volunteers were responsible for the critical river cleanup in and around Cuba this past year. Nikolis was previously a OSM/VISTA Rio Puerco Alliance Vounteer.

Nov. 2012 - National recommendations call for regular physical activity (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2008). The Guide to Community Preventive Services (Community Preventive Services Task Force) recommends successful community strategies to increase physical activity. Cuba, New Mexico, has applied many of these strategies. The Step Into Cuba program, a nationally recognized model, is under study by the University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center (PRC). These five PDF fact sheets (below) share initial findings for New Mexico community use.
Social Support (PDF)
Individually Adapted (PDF)
Street Scale Design (PDF)
Community Campaign (PDF)
Access to Places (PDF)

March 15, 2012 For Immediate Release:
Champion of Change, Richard Kozoll, MD, MPH
to be Honored at White House
-- The Prevention Research Center (PRC) at the University of New Mexico is pleased to announce that one of their community partners Richard Kozoll, MD, MPH has been selected as a Let's Move! and Physical Activity Champion of Change’, as part of President Obama's "Winning the Future" initiative (  
Please read more.

March 15, 2012 -- NM Medical Society -- Long Time Member Dr. Kozoll Awarded White House Honor

Join us! Spring Social and Fundraiser Event
Saturday April 28, 2012 --
12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Village of Cuba Eichwald Center (see PDF flyer)

We need Spring watering volunteers for our beautiful St Francis Park!
-- Being a Watering Volunteer is a great way to give back to your community, while, at the same time, doing something good for yourself. Contact
for more details.

2011 CONGRESSMAN BEN RAY LUJAN VISITS CUBA -- On August 22nd, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan visited Cuba. He toured the Nacimiento Community Foundation and Public Health offices, the Cuba Food Pantry, and then walked to the Cuba Community Garden. Read More.

2011 Update on the UNM Prevention Research Center’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Cuba Project -- As reported previously in The Connection, the PRC’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Cuba project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, focuses on changing policies and community environments to sup- port active living and healthy eating among children and their families in Cuba and the surrounding communities. Read More.

2011 MAKING FAIR FOODS HEALTHIER -- Another Healthy Kids, Healthy Cuba project launched this summer at the Sandoval County Fair, in collabora- tion with the Sandoval County Fair Board, provided support to participating food vendors to buy, prepare, and sell healthier foods. Read More.

2011 SAFE AND ACTIVE LIVING -- Through a collaborative effort of the Village of Cuba, the Step Into Cuba Alliance, the PRC, and the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) work began in September on a new sidewalk construction project in Cuba to make the Village more walkable and safe along U.S. 550. Read More.

The University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center (PRC) conducted surveys throughout the community of Cuba, NM in late August and early September for the Center’s Core Research Project, VIVA (Village Interventions and Venues for Activity). Data were collected to examine the implementation of evidence-based strategies to increase physical activity
at the community level. Read More.

Previous News:

February 2011 -- Please watch Senator Tom Udall's video on Physical Activity & Preventive Care in NM. Step Into Cuba is featured in this segment.

UNM TODAY -- June 2010 Chance Munns, a graduate student in the UNM landscape architecture master’s program, got involved with Step into Cuba, a park project in Cuba, N.M. Read full story here.

The 2010 Step Into Cuba Walkability Report
(22 MG PDF)

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Flyer regarding changes to U.S. 550 also in the 2010 May issue of the Cuba News (view PDF)

The Nacimiento Community Foundation is located at 6362 U.S. Highway 550, Cuba, NM 87013 : Phone: (575) 289-3718
Site Map | Contact Us | Privacy Statement | Copyright © 2009
This website is provided by The University of New Mexico's Prevention Research Center, a member of the Prevention Research Centers Program,
supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement number U48-DP-000061-05.
For more information, please contact the UNM Prevention Research Center at (505) 272-4462.