San Luis Valley’s rich culture is shared through free lecture series

(08-29-2013)

mountains and river in winter

Over the centuries the unique culture of the San Luis Valley has remained vibrant. Impressed by a heritage they share with family and community, a group of Adams State staff and faculty organized the Title V Hilos Culturales lecture series, "Lifeways of the San Luis Valley."

Community members are invited to attend the free lectures, which begin at 7 p.m. Tuesdays through November 12 in McDaniel Hall room 201.

Donna Griego, Bernadette Torres, Mark Pittman, Michelle Romero, Andrea Benton-Maestas, and Barbara Griego-Jones attended the 2012 Hilos Summer Institute and became inspired to offer a course focusing on the culture of the San Luis Valley. The course, taught by Dr. Reyes Garcia, Fort Lewis State College professor emeritus of philosophy, brings the richness of the San Luis Valley to students. "We want to share Hilos with our students and community, Griego said.

Lecture Line-up

  • September 3: Language and Autobiography, Southwest History and Mythology, Dennis Lopez on Upper Rio Grande Spanish/Bless Me Ultima;
  • September 10: Bruja or Curandera; La Virgen de Guadalupe or The Golden Carp, Dr. Devon Pena on Revitalizing Agro-Ecological Traditions in the SLV;
  • September 17: San Ysidro, Rancheros and the Practice of Querencia, Armando Valdez on Ranching/The Land;
  • September 24: Original Instructions, Antepasados y Vecinos, Angie Krall on the archeology of the SLV; and Carey Vicenti J.D. Jicarilla Apache, on the Worlds Before and After This One.
  • October 1: La Musica de la Gente Concert in Leon Memorial Hall by Frank McCulloch;
  • October 8: The Evolution of Culture, Dr. Jose Barrera on the Hispanic Northern Frontier;
  • October 15: La Sociedad and Local History, Zachary DeHerrera and Miguel Sisneros on La Sociedad Proteccion Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (SPMDTU) Concilio Superior.
  • November 12: "In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was Made Flesh…," Aaron Abeyta, Adams State professor of English, on the survivance of the SLV Indo-Hispano culture.

Last year the group, with support from the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, premiered the film, "Bless Me, Ultima," at Adams State. "We created the lecture series in response to the attendance of the film," Romero said. "It became obvious to all of us that our community desires a venue to learn and discuss topics about the valley's culture. Our campus is perfect for that."

The class "Lifeways of the San Luis Valley and the American Southwest," was developed last spring and explores the cultural richness of the San Luis Valley within the context of the multitude of Southwestern and Upper Rio Grande traditions. During the process of creating the course, the group decided to open up an hour of class time to anyone who would like to attend for the guest lecture session.

Garcia, an Antonito native and Vietnam veteran, brings a diverse background of teaching in higher education including teaching southwest studies at Colorado College and teaching in several departments at Fort Lewis. "We developed a list of presenters that speak to the issues of each class period."

Torres said: "The class exposes students to aspects of the San Luis Valley they might not otherwise experience in their academic career."

Benton-Maestas agrees, "We have incorporated film, lecture, field trips and more into the course to share our appreciation and passion for this culture to others."

For more information, contact Griego at 719-587-7436.