Stories from this issue
Land Water People Time

The Vital Role of Regional National Forests

For eons and centuries, New Mexico’s American Indians and Hispano people, respectively, depended heavily on local mountain forests to provide many of the essential elements needed for survival and quality of life.
Land Water People Time

Creating a Community Forest

The Carson National Forest is embarking on a new and improved relationship with Northern New Mexico’s rural peoples and what it calls “traditional historic communities,” composed largely of Hispanic residents who trace their roots back centuries and Pueblo Indians whose ancestors arrived even earlier.
Río Bosque at San Juan
Land Water People Time

List of Regional Parks & Monuments

In an area jammed with national and world-caliber parks, monuments and historic sites, here are a few suggestions for places to visit. For details, look online.
Land Water People Time

Española Evolution

How does a city recover after its primary economic driver pulls out, sending it into a decades-long skid? How does it transform from being a "pass through" city to a destination? How does it overcome economic and social hardships to once again become a vibrant community?
Land Water People Time

Destinations: To the fringes

If you like to seek out the far-flung and unusual places a region has to offer, you will want to check out these little gems nestled in Northern and Central New Mexico. Check websites or call for hours (which may be limited), admission fees, special events and additional information.
A bronze sculpture outside the Albuquerque Musem of Art & History depicts an oxen-driven carreta making its way up the Camino Real.
Land Water People Time

At the nexus

New Mexico is a land of trails. High in the mountains are the game trails of elk and deer. At the middle altitudes are the paths that rabbits take and trails left by turkeys in the mud of riverbanks. …
This petroglyph, titled "Sun Giving Birth to Moon," illustrates the ancient female energies that are embedded in the region. It is located on the Wells Petroglyph Preserve on Mesa Prieta, north of Española. The preserve is on private property donated by Katherine Wells to the Archeological Conservancy. Visitation, led by docents, is by reservation only. For details, visit
Land Water People Time

If these rocks could talk

When my students and I discuss the possibilities of the birth petroglyph with Matthew Martinez, we inevitably weave a web of stories about traditional birth practices, about imagining how and where women gave birth and how birth begs the question of relationship.
The exterior of the business brightens Española's main street.
Land Water People Time

Chimayó Trading Post

Stepping from the bright Española sunlight into the cool adobe interior of the Chimayó Trading Post is like stepping into a bit of New Mexico history. The trading post — …
The late Narciso Montoya relaxes in the resolana by his nephew's house in the Los Ojuelos neighborhood of Chimayó, 2012.
Land Water People Time

Dichos: guideposts for good character

Most Sundays, when the weather is good, I take a drive with my mother to Chimayó, our querencia (home ground), the place of origin for so much of who we are. In our conversation as we travel, …
San Gerónimo de Taos
Land Water People Time

Ancient and modern churches reflect enduring faith

No public spaces in Northern New Mexico are more reflective of local customs, the skills of homegrown artisans and particular traditions than are churches. In our ongoing look at various means and …
Looking north above the Río Grande Gorge to Ute Mountain and the Sangre de Cristos of Colorado.
Land Water People Time

Names of the northern realm

When my inquisitive ancestors asked the Pueblo people about the geography of Taos, responses in the Tiwa and Tewa languages described a high country, or la sierra as we say it in New Mexico’s …
Artist self-portrait:"Me, My Bones and My Roses" by Anita Rodríguez
Land Water People Time

Anita Rodríquez bears down on local life

“If I were to go outside and stuff the dirt from this place in my mouth, it would be sweet,” says Anita Otilla Rodríguez. The enjarradora (master mud plasterer), author, painter …
There are even urban acequias still functioning in the region, as seen in this image of the Acequia Madre in Santa Fe.
Land Water People Time

Acequias: lifeblood of the rural north

Ask any Northern New Mexico parciante — an owner of a derecho (water right) that allows them to divert water onto their land through a compuerta (headgate) from an acequia (ditch) — if …
Prickly pears

Foraging for wild foods

If you’re lucky enough to live in north-central New Mexico, you’re probably already a fan of the great outdoors. Wouldn’t you like to add a new layer to your appreciation of nature …
Clay tile, "Corn Maiden" by Jason Garcia.
Land Water People Time

Art characters 2018

Since Land Water People Time launched in 2014, more than 20 individual artists (including those featured here) have been profiled in the Art Characters series, providing a glimpse into the creative …
Nora Naranjo prepares to roast a batch of green chile in her horno at The Feasting Place.
Land Water People Time

A Pueblo feasting place

If you give a man a loaf of Pueblo bread, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to make Pueblo bread, he eats for life — or at least as long as he’s in the vicinity of an horno. Here in …
Land Water People Time

The northern realm: timeless land, beauty and culture

“New Mexico is to be felt” is a common refrain on this exploration of north-central New Mexico. Magnificent views, serene valleys, Native culture (and native trout), hidden villages and …
Land Water People Time

Ancestral tracks

I met Arturo Garrido, an architect from Mexico City, in September 2015. He was attending the Three Trails Conference in Santa Fe, which focused on the convergence in Santa Fe of El Camino Real de …

Land Water People Time Cultural Guide 2018

Land Water People Time — Northern New Mexico’s cultural guide features articles on "Dichos" (old folk sayings in Spanish), "Acequias: The Lifeblood of El Norte," exploring the …
Comidas Cristina Martinez

Home grown: chefs and food executives with local flavor

New Mexico is all about food, with a distinctive cuisine that blends Spanish, Native American and Mexican elements together into dishes found nowhere else.
Photographer: George Law. Denver and Rio Grande Railroad (the “Chili Line”) bridge near Jacona between Otowi and Santa Fe, 1924-1926. Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), #04171.

Looking back: railroads profoundly altered region

Headlines in The Weekly New Mexican newspaper on Feb. 9, 1880, declared: Santa Fe’s Triumph...
Escritorio Demetria Martinez

A storytelling sanctuary: Demetria Martínez’s Nuevo Mexico

Demetria Martínez’s award-winning poetry and fiction are inextricably linked to her native New Mexico...
Photographer: Cary Herz, 2008. A Star of David on a gravestone in Sandoval County hints at the melding of faiths found in the state. Originally published in the book New Mexico Crypto-Jews: Image and Memory from UNM Press. Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), HP.2008.22.32.

Crypto Jews

In small villages and hamlets in the mountains of New Mexico live communities of individuals claiming descent from Jewish ancestors from Spain and Portugal. These people, often called secret Jews or …
Emmy Grimm - Bailaora

Art Characters

Welcome to the third round of Art Characters, an original Land Water People Time annual series that profiles a handful of Northern New Mexico’s most notable and colorful artists.  …
Looking south over the edge of La Bajada where the Camino Real, and centuries later Rt. 66, once plunged over the natural dividing line between the upper and lower portions of the Spanish province of Nuevo Mejico.

La Bajada: Where Hope Springs Eternal

I was 27 years old in 1990 when I returned to live at my dad’s place in La Cienega.
USO (United Service Organizations) members prepare to board a Los Alamos bound bus during WW II to entertain servicemen and scientists. Courtesy Los Alamos Historical Society Photo Archives (P1985-916-1-12141).

Memorias de Manhattan

I remember my grandmother Dolores “Lola” Valdez (1915-2008) casually referring to her early work experiences outside the house in the 1940s, much like a contemporary young adult talking …
Dating from 1949, this little-known map on the cover of the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Chronicles of the Trail details the long and winding Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, which had profound impacts on New Mexico’s history and character. The map was first published in Land of the Conquistadors by Cleve Hallenbeck (Caxton Printers, 1950).

The Camino Real/Carta

The current issue of Chronicles of the Trail/Crónicas del Camino, now in its 13th year of publication, was funded by the Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area (NRGNHA) in …
Eugene Garcia, left, and Jimmy Salazar, right, apply a scratch layer to San Antonio de Padua Church on Oct. 24, 2015.

Community Spirit

Two years ago, on a temporary, plain wooden door at the main entrance to San Antonio del Río Colorado (St. Anthony’s of Red River) Church in Questa, New Mexico — just a few clicks …
View of the village of Galisteo (from the west), where trading parties often gathered to set off to the salt pans to the south or the buffalo plains to the east.  Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), # 076053.

Cultural geography: The Galisteo Basin

When my inquisitive Spanish ancestors asked the Tewa Pueblo people about the geography south of today’s Santa Fe, responses described what was plainly obvious...
Matt Romero's Alcalde Chiles.

Heirloom Cultivars

Long before farmers’ markets were hip, long before artisanal foods became big business, long before the local foods movement, the people of Northern New Mexico were growing their own …

Vacation Destination

An intriguing area, rich in history and scenic beauty, awaits discovery via a perfect day trip or a series of smaller visits along a circular route through the southern reaches of Santa Fe County. …

Land Water People Time 2017-2018

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