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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) in the Land of Enchantment, where Hispanic culture is thriving. New Mexico was once known as “Old Spain” and many ruins from the era still stand, including a plethora of 12 Rare and Historic New Mexican Cathedrals from the Spanish missionary settlements. Although the buildings and artifacts may be only partially visible, Hispanic heritage is alive and vibrant. Here are some of the best ways to experience Hispanic culture in the Land of Enchantment.

Trace Your Roots
A world-class center for Hispanic arts and culture, the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) has welcomed over 3.6 million visitors since its grand opening in 2000. Visit the Genealogy Center to learn about Hispanic family history then spend the morning at the exhibits or one (or two) of NHCC’s 700 events.

A Strong Sense of Place
Several of New Mexico’s historic sites offer visitors an in-depth look into its heritage with Spanish missionaries, conquistadors and enthusiasts. Don’t miss Coronado Historic Site north of Albuquerque to hike ruins and learn about early Spanish contact with the Puebloan people of this area. Get the New Mexico Culture Pass for admission to 15 museums and historic sites. (Bonus: Download the Cultural Atlas of New Mexico to guide your journey through the past.)

Experience Flamenco
Experience the passion and energy of flamenco at the United State's first authentic tablao inside Hotel Albuquerque. Featuring a world-class line-up of artists, Tablao Flamenco presents a dynamic schedule of performances, featuring the premier artists from Spain and the United States.

Conquistadors at Coronado
Check out the conquistador encampment and demonstrations at Cordonado Historic Site’s Fiesta of Cultures. The day-long celebration of culture, history, and food also features colcha embroidery demonstrations.

 

Feast, Flair and Flamenco
El Flamenco offers the best of Southern Spain in Santa Fe with authentic Spanish Tapas, a great selection of wine and beer and resident flamenco company Antonio Granjero + Entreflamenco. El Flamenco is the 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award winner to the City of Santa Fe. Come and enjoy an unforgettable evening of tapas, wine & live performance.

Colonial Collection at Casa
Experience the history and character of the village of Corrales at Casa San Ysidro’s Harvest Festival. This yearly educational and recreational event showcases the local agriculture, merchants, artwork, performing arts, and historic culture. Don’t miss one of the most extensive collections of Spanish Colonial iron tools in the U.S.

 

Viva la Fiesta!
Every September, Santa Fe Fiestas holds a weekend of culturally historic reenactments and events commemorating the peaceful reconquest of the capital by general Don Diego de Vargas in 1692. Between events, enjoy the arts and crafts, entertainment, and food booths that line the historic Santa Fe plaza throughout the celebrations.

Wines and (Chile) Vines
The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is an annual five-day weekend of events featuring the culinary artistry found in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s many excellent restaurants coupled with the sophistication and wines of national wineries. Celebrate wine in the country’s oldest wine region with its vines deeply rooted in Hispanic heritage.

¡Baila!
Ballet Folklorico is the beauty and vibrancy of Hispanic culture in motion. A variety of traditional Mexican dances that all have theatrical choreography and brightly-colored costumes in common, Ballet Folklorico celebrates Hispanic heritage while bringing about cultural awareness. This beautiful art form, using people as the medium, can be seen year-round all over the state at festivals, fiestas, and fairs.

New World, Old Mesilla
Just a few miles south of bustling Las Cruces is a town that hasn’t changed much in over 100 years. The adobe buildings, with their thick walls, were made to be cool in summer and warm in winter and are decorated with bright chile ristras all year-round. These buildings surround a tranquil plaza, and local galleries celebrate Old Mesilla’s heritage with paintings, sculpture, and folk art. The historically significant San Albino mission church is also a must-see, and definitely don’t miss out on the great food the town has to offer.

The Secret’s in the Soil
The tiny village of Chimayo is one of the country’s most important places of Catholic pilgrimage. El Santuario de Chimayo is a church that inspires visitors from around the world to come and experience the healing power of the soil. It’s undeniably powerful to see the dozens of crutches and walking sticks displayed on the church walls after being abandoned by pilgrims post-healing. (While in the village, don’t miss out on the famous heritage New Mexican cooking at Rancho de Chimayo.)

Experience Colonial New Mexico
Take a step back in time. A living history museum that brings the Spanish Colonial way of life into the 21st century, El Rancho de Las Golondrinas immerses visitors in the sights, sounds, and tastes of a long-ago era. It’s 200 acres, so be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to explore the grounds, meet reenactors dressed in authentic period garb, spend time in a replica of a Spanish colonial home, and contemplate what life was like for our ancestors when they first made the journey across the sagebrush-dotted mesas of Northern New Mexico.