Last month we asked our industry partners to tell us about the unique and exciting ways that visitors can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in their communities. We were thrilled with the response and enjoyed hearing from each of you about your favorite experiences and traditions! Take a look at the finished product at NewMexico.org and read the media release that is currently being pitched to national travel writers and daily publications below:
New Mexico True Guía de Cultura Commemorates the Hispanic Culture Unique to New Mexico
12 Authentic Experiences to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15, the New Mexico Tourism Department has put together a list of “only in New Mexico” experiences rich in Hispanic culture. The New Mexico True Guía de Cultura, or Culture Guide, identifies 12 opportunities to be immersed in the history, heritage and traditions of Hispanic settlers in the American Southwest.
Included in the New Mexico True Guía de Cultura:
- National Hispanic Cultural Center – Widely known as the most comprehensive Hispanic cultural center in the United States, history, food and performing arts come together 360 days a year. Explore the 4,000 square foot mural Mundos de Mestizaje (the largest concave fresco in North America), which depicts thousands of years of cultural connections and diversity in Hispanic heritage. Take a salsa lesson, learn the art of colcha embroidery, participate in a cooking demonstration and make traditional Hispanic art with kids. Don’t leave without a lesson in tracing Hispanic roots at the Genealogy Center, where experienced genealogists can walk you through centuries-old sacramental records of early Hispanic settlers in New Mexico.
- El Santuario de Chimayo – One of the country’s most important places of Catholic pilgrimage, this tiny chapel inspires visitors from around the world to experience the healing power of the soil. It’s undeniably moving to see the dozens of crutches and walking sticks displayed on the church walls after being abandoned by pilgrims post-healing. Start in the welcome center to learn the history of the church itself, see the 14 bronze statues inspired by the Stations of the Cross, leave requests for healing and blessings on the “prayer tree,” and hear the testimonials that span for generations from those who have been healed by the Santuario’s holy dirt.
- Old Town Mesilla – This quaint southern New Mexico village proudly boasts that it’s “history is not a trend, it’s tradition.” Just south of Las Cruces and just north of the Mexican border, get a glimpse of the past as you stroll through historic adobe buildings filled with bustling art galleries and restaurants. Take a guided tour to visit historic battle sites and hear the romantic ghost stories passed down through generations, catch a ballet folklorico performance, or enjoy the beautiful tranquility of the historic plaza.
- Tablao Flamenco – America’s first authentic tablao, a performance space designated specifically for flamenco, is nestled in historic Old Town at the Hotel Albuquerque. Four nights each week, exquisite performances from world-renowned bailaores (flamenco dancers), cantaors (folksingers), and guitarristas (guitarists) are paired with genuine Spanish tapas and regionally-inspired wines.
- El Rancho de las Golondrinas – This living history museum just south of Santa Fe brings the Spanish colonial way of life into the 21stst century through the sights, sounds and tastes of a long-ago era. The property is 200 acres so be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to explore the grounds and Spanish colonial homes, meet historic reenactors, and contemplate what life was like for settlers when they made the journey across the sagebrush-dotted mesas of Northern New Mexico.
Discover more of New Mexico’s rich, authentic Hispanic cultural experiences in the complete New Mexico True Guía de Cultura at NewMexico.org.