There is community in Taos


I read, with sadness, Dr. Ed Kollar's letter in The Taos News (Feb. 23, 2017) in which he noted a disparity of a cohesive "community" in Taos. He is right in the way he means it, but wrong in the fact of it. In fact, there are three of them!

He is right in that there is no overriding, cohesive community-wide sense of participation that brings everyone together, but perhaps he doesn't know the history of Taos and the development of the three disparate communities that are both sometimes in conflict with, and at the same time often interactively supportive of each other. The coexistence of the Pueblo, Hispanic and Anglo cultures does create a whole community, though they can be in conflict and non-acceptance of each other at times. However, that doesn't mean that there is no community; it's just not a classical ranch-style one.

At times, each of these cultures may align themselves with one of the others to support a mutual cause, and at other times look to their own for a sense of identity, but a peaceful co-existence is largely seen by all three to be mutually beneficial and useful. Sometimes there is an underlying emotional feeling of suspicion and mistrust, and some animosity between the three communities that doesn't go away. It's not necessarily bad, but it can be uncomfortable. But that may be the price you have to pay to live in that beautiful place.

Some enlightening and recommended reading about this would be John Bodine's prescient "A Tri-ethnic Trap," available online, and Sylvia Rodriguez's "Ethnic Reconstruction in Contemporary Taos," also available online.