Getting a bit of culture

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By The Staff

Northern New Mexico possesses a medley of cultures and histories. The Los Alamos Middle School Night Hawk Team was able to experience several facets of the area during the third annual New Mexico Culture Day on Nov. 24.


Several presenters provided this experience and helped students understand various cultural perspectives and histories. Jerome Martinez told the students about his work as an artist, entrepreneur and Natural Resource Specialist for the the Pueblo of San Ildefonso. Chris Orgega, of Ortega’s Weaving Shop in Chimayo,  shared with the students about his life and work in the Northern New Mexico weaving industry.

Julian Martinez helped the students understand his life growing up in San Ildefonso and talked about his well-known grandmother, the artesian Maria. He  also told some traditional Pueblo stories. Chris Judson of Bandelier National Monument arranged for the bookstore at Bandelier to donate books for selected student ambassadors who dined with their parents and the  guests. The presentations supported the curricular goals in New Mexico history, culture and literature in the seventh grade classrooms of Ellie Springfield, Jennifer Holmes and Nadine Crane.

“New Mexico Culture Day allows the community to bring our seventh grade curriculum in language arts and social studies to life,” Holmes said. “These community members give the students first hand knowledge of folk stories, history and culture from a unique perspective.”