2015 Hilos Summer Institute

Cultural Seminars

Michelle Hernández Abeyta

began her musical career as a singer at the age of fourteen in Pueblo, CO and has been highly sought after at numerous community events and celebrations. At age 17, she represented the Latino community as Colorado State Fair Fiesta Queen. She traveled to Puebla, Mexico in 1982 as Ambassador of Pueblo, CO representing her community to their sister city, Puebla.

Michelle has been a professional soloist in the Diocese of Colorado Springs for the past 22 years. Additionally, she is well known throughout Colorado and New Mexico for her contributions in preserving the folk music of the region. She excels in the mastery in various styles of music, such as Mariachi, Classical, Sacred and Country. Her work as a folk artist is recorded in the Smithsonian Archives and she has received various awards and recognitions. Michelle was nominated in 2008 by the National Endowment for the Arts National Treasure Award. Her greatest honor was to sing for Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day in 1993 in Denver.

Michelle continues to entertain audiences in Spanish and in English throughout the United States. She has produced two significant culturally inspired recordings during her career; Palomita Mensajera and …Con Sabor A Latino America. She was recently recognized in Enduring Legacies, An Anthology of Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado "Ay Que Lindo Es Colorado: Chicana Musical Performance From the Colorado Borderlands." University Press of Colorado, 2011. In 2010, Michelle was the recipient of the "Premio Hilos Culturales - Traditional Folk Artist Award."

Billy Archuleta, Musician

William “Billy” Archuleta is a guitarist, singer, composer, arranger, performer, Music Liturgist and Choir Director who comes from Des Montes, New Mexico. He has been a musician since the age of 15 when he was inspired by Fr. George Salazar to become a Music Minister at Holy Trinity Church in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico. But his music actually goes back even further to the age of 5 when he recorded his first song with his Tio, Ramon Archuleta on a Sony 3 inch reel-to-reel tape recorder. His love for music came from watching his Parents and Uncles play and sing at family gatherings and neighborhood parties as well as dances. He studied under his Tio Damian Archuleta, where he learned to play much of the Southwest Folk music, which included such songs as “La Varsoviana”, “Jesusita En Chihuahua”, “Los Matachines”, various “Polka’s” and”Valses”, along with many more popular Northern New Mexico songs. Billy has composed 3 complete "Catholic Masses” to date as well as other Church hymns and Secular music. He was commissioned by the Taos Historical Society in 2010 to compose a ballad of one of Northern New Mexico/Southern Colorado’s famous frontiersmen, which was titled “The Ballad of Tom Tobin”. His song “Buenos Dias Señor” has become very popular in the Southwest region, and has been played extensively for many Masses. Some of his Mass parts were recently played at the National Hispanic Catholic Conference in Denver, Colorado for a Mass which was celebrated by the Monsignor of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Currently, Billy can be seen playing with Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo and the Southwest Musicians from Denver, the Audrey Davis Trio from Taos, the St. William Choir from Taos as well as a Solo artist, playing for weddings, funerals, private parties as well as other venues.

“I love the music, the dance, the food, the cuentos, the richness and the art that are all part of my Hispanic Culture, and I’m very proud of where I come from”, says Billy. “I have been blessed with having grown up with the experiences and knowledge of my culture, my extended family heritage, and the connection to all that makes us a “special” people. I thank my Parents, my relatives, my friends and most of all, my loving Father in Heaven for the gift of music and the talent to create beautiful songs. I can only hope to pass this knowledge and love of culture to future generations through my example as a musician and one who lives his “Cultura.”

Benjamín Baca, Traditional Folk Artist

Banjamín Baca, born in Las Vegas, New Mexico, one of eleven children. His familia moved to Santa Fé where he attended public school. After serving in the U.S. Military, Banjamín graduated from St. Michael's College in Sante Fé and later from the University of New Mexico where he received his graduate degrees. As an educator and administrator in the Santa Fé Public Schools for over twenty five years where he also directed Special Olympics for several years.

Benjamín and his wife Deluvine have four children and for the past thirty three years have been active members of La Sociedad Colonial Española de Santa Fé.

The mission of the organization is to focus on preserving Los Bailes Antiguos that were commonly danced throughout the region during the three hundred year period as part of the northern frontier of Nueva España, later México and the southwest.

In 1948, Los Coloniales began reintroducing those dance traditions, and to the present day continue to perform at fairs, festivals, public schools, and countless other special occasions. In 1999 an invitation was extended to perform abroad in Santa Fé de la Vega, Los Palacios, and the Embassy in Madrid, Spain. In 2010, Benjamín Baca was recognized for his leadership role as president of Los Coloniales de Santa Fé and nominated to receive "Premio Hilos Culturales- Traditional Folk Artist Award".

José "Joe" Barrera, Ph.D.

José  Barrera grew up in Mercedes, Texas, a town named for the Spanish land grants given to los españoles mejicanos who settled the province of Nuevo Santander in the 1740's. He earned a doctorate in U.S. Southwest literature from UT-Austin and taught American Ethnic Studies, Southwest Studies, Chicano/a Lit., and Leadership at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the Colorado College, and for many community organizations

Charles M. Carrillo, Ph.D., Fine Artist

Charles M. Carrillo, Ph.D., of Santa Fé, NM is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque in Anthropology/Archeology. A Santero Artist, he has studied and researched the carving tools and styles, pigment and varnish preparations, traditional iconography, and paint styles of the old Santero masters. He teaches and demonstrates traditional santo-making throughout the country. Charlie is a renowned wood carver and painter of retablos ( a painted devotional panel) and reredos (alter screens.) He is the author of Saints of the Pueblos, an exploration of the connections between Hispanic and Pueblo cultures, which is also a touring exhibit presently being shown at the Indian Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Charlie is the recipient of the "National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in Folk and Traditional Arts" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Spanish Colonial Arts Society of Santa Fé, New Mexico.

Debbie Trujillo Carrillo, Potter

Debbie Trujillo Carrillo, originally from Abiquiú, New Mexico. Having studied under Felipe Ortega, master potter of Hispanic and Jicarilla descent, Debbie is recognized as an accomplished potter of micaceous clay. Debbie, her husband Charlie, and children, exhibit annually at Spanish Market in Santa Fé, NM.

Rosalía de Aragón

Many say they have heard the unforgettable, spine-chilling cry of La Llorona, the Wailing Woman, as she wanders searching for her children. Many also can say they have met her through actor/singer Rosalia de Aragón, who has portrayed La Llorona for over 14 years. Traveling throughout the state of New Mexico, she has performed at museums, fiestas, schools and other community events. She is once again taking the ghost and her other presentations: Music and Dance of the Southwest, Drama and Storytelling of the Southwest and Rosalia and Don Gato, to the Smithsonian Institution and D.C. schools in April 2016. Besides bringing to life the traditional Hispanic ghost tale of La Llorona, Rosalia also reminds the audience of the value of traditional dances, music and the use of stories in various cultures as an educational tool. Unlike a traditional play, she breaks the barrier between the actor and audience. Audience members are invited to volunteer to help bring the story to life. De Aragón teaches music at a Catholic school in Albuquerque and is currently a graduate student at the University of New Mexico in which she incorporates the arts into education and specifically Special Education. She began her acting studies in Musical Theater at the College of Santa Fe and completed the intensive acting program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood. De Aragón is very active in the film community in New Mexico and has fought to encourage directors to include more women and Latinos in productions. Her experience in numerous theatrical productions, commercials and films also includes roles in Frontera, Bless Mi Ultima, and A Thief of Time. As a vocalist, she has also recorded a CD entitled Canto De La Llorona. More information can be found on her website: rosaliadearagon.com

Antonio Esquibel, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Spanish
Metropolitan State University of Denver


Antonio was born in Littleton, CO, one of twelve siblings, accompanying his parents during his formative years as they followed the crops through eastern Colorado and western Kansas. He later received degrees from Adams State University in Spanish and Latin, and Highlands University in Bilingual Education. He began his professional career as a teacher of Spanish and Latin at Englewood High School in the suburbs of Denver. He Received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He then taught in the Department of Health Administration at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. He later served as Vice President of Student Affairs and Associate Vice President for Community Outreach at Metropolitan State College in Denver where he worked for 20 years. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at Metropolitan State College, Denver, CO. Antonio was the 2004 recipient of the "César Chávez Leadership Award" for his life-time contributions to the Denver Latino community, and received "Colorado's Hispanic Annual Salute Award," given to the Hispanic who has contributed most to Hispanics statewide. He has long had an interest in dichos and adivinanzas (proverbs and riddles), having written a monthly column for the ¿Que Pasa? Newsletter on dichos and adivinanzas. Antonio has just finished his third book, Hipolito: The Prodigal Son. His other publications are, Message to Aztlán; Selected Writings of Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales and The Career Mobility of Chicanos in Higher Education. Antonio has recently completed a four year term as a member of the Board of Trustees for Metropolitan State College. He has served for 10 years as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of La Escuela Tlatelolco and as a Board Member of the Adams State College Alumni Association. Antonio is presently serving as Vice-President for Council #7 of the S.P.M.D.T.U., Denver Chapter. He also received the "Libretony Education Award" from La Escuela Tlatelolco.

Estevan Rael-Gálvez

Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez is a leader experienced in the executive management of cultural-based organizations who is dedicated to inspiring creativity, building community, and raising consciousness through the infusion of the arts and humanities. He currently serves as a writer, strategist and speaker, working with communities and organizations to elevate core stories, leverage the power of place and centering transformational and experiential engagement. He holds a BA in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, and his MA and PhD in American Cultures from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His dissertation, “Identifying Captivity and Capturing Identity: Narratives of American Indian Slavery,” focuses on the meanings of American Indian slavery and its unique legacy and identity in the southwest. Dr. Rael-­‐Gálvez most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Historic Sites at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and previously, as the Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the largest Latino/a cultural center in the United States, and as the State Historian of New Mexico, the leading advocate and authority on New Mexico history. The recipient of numerous fellowships, including from the Ford Foundation, the School of American Research, the Newberry and the Huntington Libraries, and the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Rael-­‐Gálvez serves on numerous commissions and boards, including the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Latino Scholars Expert Committee, the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and the Santa Fe Opera.

Esteban L. Gonzales (Genízaro)

has served as the principal dancer, instructor, and headdress and outfit maker for Los Comanches de la Serna. Retiring in 2014 from the United States Army with over thirty years of service, Esteban returns regularly to Ranchos de Taos to share his cultural knowledge with youth, and participates in his community's annual feast day celebrations with his sons and daughter every New Year's day. He is especially proud to have danced with his first granddaughter in 2013, and looks forward to sharing this upcoming New Year's day celebrations with his newest granddaughter. Finally, he is the proud husband of Rita Pacheco, to whom he has been married for twenty-seven years.

Francisco Gonzales

Francisco Gonzales a.k.a. El Comanche is the present leader of Los Comanche de La Serna. Francisco is a descendent of the genízaro people the early settlers of Ranchos de Taos, Llano Quemado, Talpa, and La Cordillera. Francisco was born in Ranchos de Taos one month before Pearl Harbor. At the age of 3, his father had him dancing the Comanche songs and dances. El Comanche attended Menaul School and finished high school in Taos. He graduated from Highlands University, and completed graduate course work at San Jose State University. Served in the New Mexico State Legislature and presently Francisco is retired and residing in Ranchos de Taos.

Gregorio Gonzales, Dancer

Gregorio Gonzales (Genízaro) is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology and Borderlands Anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin, pursuing Graduate Portfolios in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, as well as Native American and Indigenous Studies. Graduating from The University of New Mexico in 2012 with a Master's degree (with Distinction) in Latin American Studies, and earning a Bachelor of Arts degree (with Honors) in Government from New Mexico State University in 2010, his dissertation work examines the historical, political, sociocultural, and epistemological dynamics of nation-building in region, and their continued impact on the examination, expression, and embodiment of Genízaro identity in the Taos and Chama valleys. Most recently, Gregorio was selected for an academic appointment through the Smithsonian Minority Awards Program as a Visiting Student at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and the recent recipient of the prestigious 2015-2016 Dissertation Fellowship through the Center for Mexican American Studies and the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Enrique R. Lamadrid

Enrique is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Spanish from the University of New Mexico, who taught folklore, ethnopoetics, literature, and cultural history. He now edits the Querencias Series of UNM Press, and has recently published books by Levi Romero, Estevan Arellano, Cipriano Vigil, Don Usner, and Melissa Savage. In the public sector, he has worked on curatorial teams for a number of national and international exhibits and festivals, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. He led the design team for the Camino Real International Heritage Center south of Socorro, New Mexico.

Collaborative book projects include Hotel Mariachi: Urban Space and Cultural Heritage in Los Angeles (2013), Nuevo México Profundo: Rituals of an Indo-Hispano Homeland (2000), Pilgrimage to Chimayó: A Contemporary Portrait of a Living Tradition (1999), and Música de los Viejitos: Hispano Folk Music of the Río Grande del Norte (1997). The American Folklore Society recognized his ethnography 'Hermanitos Comanchitos': Indo-Hispano Rituals of Captivity and Redemption (2003) with the prestigious Chicago Folklore Prize and the Américo Paredes Prize for his community based cultural, acequia activism, and museum work. Lamadrid worked with Rudolfo Anaya on several children's books before publishing his own, La Acequia de Juan del Oso (2008), Amadito and the Hero Children of the Vaccine (2011), and Sisters in Blue: María de Agreda Visits New Mexico, 1620 (2016). He is also a noted scholar of the ballad traditions of Greater Mexico.

Enrique is an acequia activist and delegate from the Alamos de los Gallegos Acequia in Albuquerque's north valley. He is on a team preparing documentation for a UNESCO nomination of the acequia tradition in New Mexico and Colorado for world intangible cultural heritage designation.

Enrique is a Chautauquan for both the NM and Colorado Humanities Councils, and presents the historical character of Capitán Rafael Chacón, whose military and personal memoir is the best documented and most resonant Hispano voice from the 19th century. Chacón is one of the founding fathers of Trinidad, Colorado.

Los Coloniales

In 1948, a group of Santa Fe residents, concerned with preserving the dances as they were performed in the nineteenth century and before, organized La Sociedad Colonial Española de Santa Fe. Their goal is to preserve these dances, introduce them to the public, and teach to those who wish to share in the culture.

Los Coloniales, who have fifty members, perform throughout the year at festivals, fairs, and schools. Major events are the Santa Fe Fiesta and the New Mexico State Fair. Los Coloniales have also performed on television throughout New Mexico and into Southern Colorado.

Los Comanches de la Serna, Danzantes


Los Comanche de la Serna, a group of singers and dancers from Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, are the descendents of Indian captives (genízaro people) of the Comanche who were traded to the Spanish ranchers who founded Ranchos de Taos in the early 18th century. The captives, many of them children, came from a variety of Indian tribes, and were brought up with Spanish surnames.

Despite growing up as captives and eventually learning to speak Spanish and generally adopting Spanish ways, the genízaro retained the Comanche language also remembering their dances and songs that had been handed down from their forefathers.

Today, Los Comanche de la Serna performs on New Year's Day, commemorated as Emanuel's Day, and St. Paul's Day, January 25. On these two days, from sunup to sundown, drummers, singers and dancers go from house to house in Talpa and Llano Quemado singing and dancing. They remember thirty-six songs and twelve dances from the "old days." Their oral tradition says their tribes also included Navajo, Utes and Apaches.

Mariachi San Luis

Mariachi San Luis, is a community group of diverse but vibrant group of musicians, under the leadership of Frank Vigil. In addition to many public performances, Mariachi San Luis has produced two CD’s to memorialize the hard work and efforts of the membership. The group has studied with members of Mariachi Vargas, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, Mariach Sol De Mexico, Mariachi Tenampa, Mariachi Cobre and many others. Mariachi San Luis is very welcoming, there are no auditions, membership or registration fees, but the Mariachi has rules of conduct. The students must maintain passing graded in all subjects and prohibits the use of alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs at practices or activities. The group practices twice a week. All members, sing and play or learn to play a mariachi instrument. We are proud of this very positive image as we travel from San Luis and Costilla County to spread our joyous sound.

Estevan Pacheco

Estevan Pacheco, native of Alameda, New Mexico, began playing guitar at age 13. Estevan studied with Ricardo Anglada and Mario Febres, as well as, other master guitarists, such as Miguel Iglesias, Luis Mariano and others who participate in the Festival Flamenco. As a featured guitarist, Estevan has most recently played at Carnegie Hall in New York and at the annual Jazz Festival directed by Kebbi Williams in Atlanta, Georgia. He has also performed as a guest artist in theaters and communities throughout New Mexico and Colorado in the chautauqua performances of “La Llorona” and “Hispanic Women of New Mexico”. He will soon be featured in the recording and performances of “Canta Nuevo Mexico” which is a journey through New Mexico music.

Pepita's LLC


Pepita's brand of Organic Baking Mixes and Pepita's Catering is named after our beloved mother, Pepita Martinez, who died in 1986, she was the matriarch of our family. Her life centered around her family and the wonderful meals and baked goods she prepared for us and countless friends. Pepita's tradition of cooking and baking everything from "scratch" has been passed down to her children.

 After a series of dreams in the year 2000, a family meeting was held and a company was formed.We are keeping Pepita's spirit alive by continuing her traditions and the rich cultural traditions of the people of San Luis, Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico by providing wholesome, nutritious and great-tasting organic mixes for your family and made from scratch meals using local organic products raised and grown by local traditional farmers.
Panza Llena, Corazón Contento(Full Stomach, Happy Heart)

Larry Torres, Educator

Larry Torres, a native of Arroyo Seco, NM, has been a teacher of Spanish, Russian, French, English, Latin, Linguistics, Bilingual Education and Southwest Studies. A noted New Mexico educator, Larry, after receiving many local, regional and state honors, came to national prominence in 1992 when he was awarded "National Outstanding Foreign Language Teacher of the Year" at the Annual Disney Salutes The American Teacher Awards program in Los Angeles, CA. He is currently Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Cultures at the University of New Mexico in Taos. He has written extensively and authored Las Posadas; Los Moros y Los Cristianos; Las Cuatro Apariciones de Guadalupe, and Los Matachines Desenmascarados. Larry has been an actor with the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities' Chautauqua Program, successfully completed many years of impersonating Jean-Baptiste Lamy, first Archbishop of Santa Fé; the persona of conquistador, Don Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and of Civil Rights activist Reyes López Tijerina. Larry has been inducted into Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for Excellence in Teaching and also received the "Excellence in Teaching Award" sponsored by the Southwest Coalition of Language Teachers; the "National Educator Award" sponsored by the Milken Family Foundation and is the recipient of the "Camino Real Award" as one of 15.

Lorenzo Trujillo, Ed.D., J.D., Musician


A graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder; San Francisco State University and the University of Colorado School of Law. Lorenzo is the director of the Southwest Musicians. He is a violinist, guitarist, and vocalist, including contributions as an ethnic dancer, folklorist, arts administrator and culture bearer for approximately four decades. A folk musician, he has received the Colorado "Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts," and is a recipient of the "Premio Hilos Culturales - Traditional Folk Artist Award." Lorenzo was introduced into the Chicano Music Hall of Fame and has served on the National Endowment for the Arts as a panelist, presenter, and evaluator. He was named "Colorado Folk Artist and Master Teacher" by the Colorado Council on the Arts through the Master/Apprentice Program. His numerous recordings include Musical Traditions of Colorado and New Mexico with the Southwest Musicians and A Musical Banquet: From Santa Fé to Denver, among others. Lorenzo is a retired Professor and Assistant Dean at the University of Colorado Law School. His noted publication is: Music of Colorado and New Mexico's Río Grande, published in Enduring Legacies: Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado, University of Colorado Press, 2011. He has toured throughout the Southwest United States, Mexico, Peru, Italy, and next year will tour to Dublin, Ireland, presenting the music of the Southwest.

Angel Vigil


Angel Vigil is Chairman of the Fine and Performing Arts Department and Director of Drama at Colorado Academy in Denver. He is an award winning author, performer, stage director and teacher. His awards include the Heritage Artist Award and the Master Artist Award from the Colorado Council on the Arts. He has also received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education and the Mayor's Individual Artist Fellowship Award. He also was awarded the Colorado State Theatre Educator of the Year Award. Angel is the author of six award-winning books on Hispanic and Western culture and arts. His book The Corn Woman, and Other Stories and Legends from the Hispanic Southwest won the prestigious New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age National Award. His book Una Linda Raza, Cultural and Artistic Traditions of the Hispanic Southwest won the Border Library Association Southwest Book of the Year Award and the Colorado Book of the Year Special Recognition Award. Angel also authored ¡Teatro! Hispanic Plays for Young People, The Eagle in the Cactus, Traditional Tales from Mexico and Riding Tall in the Saddle, The Cowboy Fact Book. He also wrote a children's book "Papi, How Many Stars Are in the Sky." Angel is a Colorado Heritage Artist storyteller who has performed throughout the nation at festivals, universities, schools and art centers. He has been featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Keepers of the Word festival at Amherst College, the Rocky Mountain Storytelling Festival, the International Reading Association, the National Independent School Library Association, the Four Corners Storytelling Festival, the Mesa Storytelling Festival, and the Nebraska Storytelling Festival. His specialty is the oral traditions of the Hispanic Southwest. Angel is also a member of the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Chautauqua program for his historical presentation of Diego Martín, El Vaquero, America's First Cowboy.

Cipriano F. Vigil, Ph.D., Ethnomusicologist


Cipriano F. Vigil, Ph.D., a graduate of New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas. His post graduate work is from El Centro Nigromante, Mexico, D.F., and Kennedy-Western University, CA, in Ethnomusicology. He has performed at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C. and has recorded and transcribed Regional Folk Music since the 1960's. He has researched and performed the ritual and traditional music of New Mexico that dates back to the early 17th century. Cipriano has also developed a repertoire folk-based style, La Nueva Canción Nuevomejicana, as demonstrated in his recording, Los Folkloristas de Nuevo México. He is the recipient of the "New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities Life Time Achievement Award," the "New Mexico Hispanic Folk Music Award," and the New Mexico "Governor's Award for Achievement and Excellence in Traditional Folk Music." He is also a recipient of "Premio Hilos Culturales - Traditional Folk Artist Award." Furthermore, Cipriano has been nominated to the "National Heritage Award" four times. He has performed with his son and daughter, (Cipriano Jr. and Felícita) La Familia Vigil, for over 20 years throughout the region and together they have produced numerous recordings. Cipriano is Professor Emeritus at Northern New Mexico Community College in Española, NM and continues to work with elementary school children in the public schools on musical instrumentation and the cultural art traditions of our ancestors. He recently completed Estudio Del Folclor Nuevo Mejicano, a cultural survey of ritual music and written verse styles which capsulize the treasury of Hispano heritage of the Upper Río Grande region. It is scheduled for publication through the University of New Mexico Press to coincide with the observance of New Mexico's Centennial in 2012.