Monday, December 3, 2012



La Cosecha

My Mom and I went to the Harvest Festival at Rancho de las Golondrinas this fall.  There was a performance of La Llorona, among many other performances, music, wagon rides,re-enactments, food tasting, harvest fruits and vegetables, etc.   Check out Rancho de las Golondrinas




St. Francis Xavier Church


At the end of October, my Mom and I went on one of our regular day trips, to Jarales.  We visited one of her cousins.  This is where her father's family was from.  Nearby settlements including Los Pueblitos, El Bosque, Belén and Los Chávez are some of the oldest settlements in the Río Abajo.  Largely agricultural communities, the arrival of the railroad in 1880 had a huge influence on these towns, as it did the entire Southwest, and well, the world.  We have made several drives to Jarales and stopped to visit people throughout the years.  On this day, my Mom's cousin made us a special fall lunch of green chile, calabacitas, stew, beans and tortillas.  And of course we had a few glasses of wine.  Having my tripod in the back of my car, I took a few self-portraits.  I've photographed the church several times, but the trees were exceptionally beautiful, naturally because of the season.  This is a newer church, and the old St. Francis Xavier Church was situated at the same site.  Among the mayordormos of the original mission church during the late 1800s and early 1900s were my great-grandparents Benigno Gallegos & Concepción Barreras de Gallegos.  Their is a plaque on the wall at the entrance with their names on it, along with many other mayordormos.  The church is located just north of the US Post Office on Jarales Road.  There is a Jarales Post Office, as well, just north of that.
The Kimo - The King of its kind.  Magnificent.  One of the best things Alburquerque has done is replicate the original marquee on the theatre.  Southwest Art Deco.  Let's keep it lit.
According to my publisher's catalog - LPD Press / Río Grande Books, my first publication "Becoming a Part of My History:  Through Images & Stories of My Ancestors" is ranked 9th Most Popular Genealogy Reference, #32 New Mexico History, and #78 Southwest History on Amazon.com.  Very excited indeed.

My next work is expected to be out in early 2013 titled "Por Constancia / So that it may be validated:  Family History in the Río Abajo".  I'll keep you posted.

Here is one of the blurbs for praise and criticism that can be found on the back cover of my first book:


In viewing photos of nuevomexicanos held in the NationalArchives, I was always struck by the fact that the names of the subjects werenever included; they were identified dryly as “Spanish American women bakingbread,” or “Spanish American male driving a wagon.” Impersonal, deracinated,objectified. Andrés Armijo's visual chronicle of his familia is a response tothat colonizing act of reduction. With a profound sensibility of love andrespect, he unfolds before our eyes and our hearts the history of his clan inthis splendid book that comprises a blend of historical fact, physicaldescription, cultural analysis, existential musings and, of course, photographsthat record names and details, thus rendering his ancestors flesh and bloodagents in the making of their familial and cultural history. In sharing thisvery personal album, Armijo eschews the potential sentimentality or narcissismof journeys of self-discovery as he strives to understand his place in abroader collective history that belongs not only to his family but to allnuevomexicanos. Almost two decades ago, when Andrés with his cara de ángelenrolled in one of my heritage language classes at UNM, I immediatelyrecognized a thirst for cultural knowledge rare among his peers. This jewelfulfills my intuition that his passion for his cultural legacy would lead tosomething grand.

Erlinda Gonzales-Berry
Professor Emerita University of New Mexico
and Oregon State University